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PPL Corporation

Goal 4: Ensure Education

4.2)   By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education

PPL Corporation places an emphasis on pre-school education, particularly in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and low-income student programs. Working closely with one Pennsylvania community partner – Community Services for Children (CSC) – PPL has provided significant funding to provide subsidies and scholarships to low-income students in distressed neighborhoods for high-quality pre-K education programs. Annually, 30 children from low-income households are able to attend Head Start or high-quality pre-k programs.

In addition, PPL worked with CSC to found the Newton School program, which provides high-quality, STEM focused pre-kindergarten education to 20 children annually. Through funding provided by PPL, the program also provides training for early childhood educators to help expand the curriculum beyond the neighborhoods currently served by the CSC schools.

Goal 6: Ensure water & sanitation

6.4)  By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

As part of their efforts to advance a cleaner energy future, PPL carefully manages the water it uses and monitors the impact of waste water discharged into waterways. The company supports programs that protect waterways and the ecosystems that depend on them in the service areas where the utilities operate. LG&E and KU have greatly reduced the volume of cooling water withdrawn from the watershed by utilizing closed-cycle cooling instead of once-through cooling at its generating plants. Consumptive water use at LG&E and KU facilities has decreased significantly over the past five years. The utility used 75 percent less water for each megawatt-hour generated in 2017 than in 2013.

Ash production has decreased 32 percent from 2013 to 2017 due to the closure of coal-fired units and the increased use of natural gas generation. LG&E and KU made progress on a nearly $1 billion project to cap and close ash ponds and other coal-combustion residual ponds at their active and retired coal-fired plants and transition to dry handling of coal-combustion residuals.

Goal 7: Ensure Energy for All

7.1)   By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services 

PPL Corporation focuses on providing affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally responsible energy to their customers. They intend to keep their rates affordable by reducing operating costs, boosting efficiency and making smart investments in their infrastructure.  In the U.S., their utilities maintain residential rates below the regional averages based on the Edison Electric Institute’s Average Rates Report for Winter 2017.  PPL’s subsidiaries also give customers more options to manage their energy use than ever before. In 2017, more than 1 million participants took advantage of their utilities’ energy efficiency programs for residential and commercial customers, receiving more than $35.7 million in energy efficiency rebates. In all, their energy efficiency programs helped customers save more than 671 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduced peak demand by more than 259 megawatts across their business.

PPL is advancing more than two dozen research and development projects to explore clean energy technologies, including energy storage and electric vehicles. In 2017, activities included:

• PPL Electric partnered with EPRI on research related to energy storage, distribution systems, integration of distributed energy resources and crisis communications.

• PPL Electric began the Keystone Solar Future Project in partnership with Drexel University, General Electric, EPRI, Landis+Gyr and BRIDGE Energy Group to model the effects of distributed energy on the grid.

• As part of its Innovation Strategy, WPD conducts R&D activities across five broad areas: network performance and efficiency; low carbon networks; smart grid and meters; and environment and customer service.

7.2)   By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

PPL Corporation has made substantial investments in smart grid technology with a focus on improving the reliability of the electric delivery systems for its utility customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and the United Kingdom. PPL’s utilities in the United Kingdom, Western Power Distribution, have a number of innovative projects underway to change the way electricity is generated and used to support the U.K.’s bold target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050.  In Pennsylvania, PPL Electric Utilities has committed $100 million for smart grid deployment. All of the company’s customers will be served by automated circuits by the end of 2018. In addition to improving reliability for customers, smart grid advancement also facilitates implementation of renewable energy and distributed generation resources.

7.3)   By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

PPL Corporation, through its subsidiaries, has a number of energy efficiency and conservation programs in place to help our customers learn about and save energy. They can also save money through rebates and discounts for making wise investments in energy efficiency. In the first phase of PPL Electric Utilities’ E-power® programs, developed as part of Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency and conservation laws customers, including households, non-profits and educational institutions, collectively saved more than 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours per year of electricity between 2009 and 2013. For context, one megawatt supplies enough energy to power about 720 typical homes. The energy savings help offset customers’ annual energy growth and manage peak periods when customers’ energy usage is at its highest. 

Goal 8: Promote Economic Growth & Decent Work

8.2)  Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labor intensive sectors

PPL Corporation focuses on cultivating success for their employees by fostering an inclusive, respectful and diverse workplace that rewards performance, promotes professional development and enables employees to achieve their full potential. In 2017, PPL Chairman Bill Spence signed onto the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. PPL’s operating utilities nurture the future workforce through apprenticeships and training programs. They also work closely with local and state officials to foster economic development that creates jobs throughout the territories they serve. PPL has played an integral role in the urban revitalization of Downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, working alongside a coalition of business, community and government partners to enable more than $1 billion in commercial development and the creation of 3,000 jobs.

PPL provides incentives to support economic development efforts. For example, LG&E and KU’s Economic Development Rider – an incentive rate for existing industry expansions, new project locations and redevelopment initiatives within the service area – continues to be recognized as an exemplary business attraction tool. They are also focused on empowering communities through charitable funding of more than $10 million in 2017 and partnering with their communities for economic development, disaster readiness and emergency preparedness.

8.3)   Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial resources

PPL Corporation has worked with our network of partners since the 1920s to locate hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs with attention to meeting local economic development needs. Most recently, PPL Corporation has played an integral role in the urban revitalization of Downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, working alongside a coalition of business, community and government partners to enable more than $1 billion in commercial development and the creation of 3,000 jobs. PPL Companies LG&E and KU’s Economic Development team were honored for helping Kentucky create more than 80 percent of the 12,500 new jobs created in the state in 2013. Since 2000, LG&E and KU have helped create nearly 110,000 new jobs in Kentucky. In addition, LG&E and KU have created approximately 3,200 construction jobs as part of its ongoing $6 billion investment environmental upgrade projects.

Goal 9: Build Infrastructure, Foster Innovation

9.1)   Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all

PPL Corporation is rebuilding and modernizing our electricity distribution and transmission systems to make them even more reliable and efficient with nearly $18 billion in infrastructure investment planned over the next five years. In May 2015, PPL Electric Utilities energized the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line in Pennsylvania, completing a major upgrade to the nation’s electric grid. The new 500-kilovolt power line will make electric service more reliable for millions of people in the Northeast. The three-year construction project created significant economic benefits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including 2,000 construction jobs. It also enables savings for electric customers by reducing transmission congestion charges.  The project also led to significant public benefits in the form of expanded national park lands, wetland improvements and cultural and historic preservation activities.

9.4)   By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

PPL is upgrading environmental controls at its power plants, completing Kentucky’s first combined-cycle, natural-gas- fired generation unit and breaking ground on its first large-scale utility solar project. The transition from coal to natural gas will bring an end to coal-fired generation at Cane Run that spanned more than six decades and pioneered award-winning, environmental technology for the utility industry. The natural gas combined-cycle unit also will mean greater efficiency in power production and further reduction of emissions.

In addition, the company is participating in Kentucky’s first megawatt-scale carbon capture pilot and exploring opportunities to enable widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies by customers in the United Kingdom. With these environmental efforts, the company continues to produce energy cleaner than ever before — at Cane Run alone, particulate emissions will be reduced by more than half; sulfur dioxide emissions by 99 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 82 percent.

PPL is investing in tomorrow’s energy infrastructure by developing a more reliable, resilient and efficient grid that fosters continued progress and a cleaner energy future with projects such as: In 2017, PPL completed $3.5 billion of infrastructure investments to build a smarter, more dynamic and more secure energy grid, including investing more than $1 billion in each of the regions in which they operate. In Pennsylvania, PPL Electric invested more than $127.5 million installing about 600,000 new meters that enable better management of power usage, more accurate outage reporting and new functionality that improves customer service. In July 2017, WPD released its plan to transition from a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to a Distribution System Operator (DSO). Through 2023, the company will invest nearly $164 million to implement a transition strategy that will drive performance and efficiency on the power grid.

 LG&E completed a long-term gas main replacement project in Louisville, Ky., in June 2017. LG&E replaced 540 miles of aging cast iron, wrought iron and bare steel natural gas pipelines, which are more vulnerable to degradation over time, with more durable plastic natural gas pipelines.

Goal 13: combat climate change

13.2)   Integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation into national policies, strategies and planning 

PPL Corporation is working to advance a cleaner energy future. PPL has a longstanding commitment to carry out all of their business activities in ways that preserve and promote a clean, safe and healthy environment. They have invested in environmental upgrades at PPL power plants, carbon-free generation projects and programs to encourage energy efficiency.

They are taking steps to manage climate-related risks. In 2017, they published an assessment of the potential impacts on PPL resulting from future requirements and technological advances aimed at limiting global warming to 2º Celsius over pre-industrial levels. In January 2018, PPL announced a goal to cut the company’s carbon dioxide emissions 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050. The company has significantly reduced carbon emissions and carbon intensity via the strategic spin-off of their competitive generation and coal retirements in Kentucky, with a 50 percent reduction in emissions from 2010 to 2016.