Member Spotlight Archive

Paducah, Kentucky

One of the Largest Art Scenes in the Country
Published December 2020

Situated on the banks of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, the City of Paducah is a central hub for healthcare, retail, financial services and entertainment sectors in the Jackson Purchase Region of western Kentucky and southern Illinois. The city also has one of the largest art scenes in the country. Of the 180 cities designated as UNESCO Creative Cities, fewer than 10 are located in the United States, and, in 2013, Paducah became the ninth American city to receive the designation.

Paducah – originally called Pekin – was settled in 1815 by a mixed community of Native Americans and Europeans. The two communities lived in harmony trading goods and services until the arrival in 1827 of William Clark, famed leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark presented a title deed to the land and named the new city Paducah in honor of Chief Paduke.

The Paducah Power System (PPS) operates on a much larger scale than similar-sized utilities. PPS employs 61 people, including 19 lineworkers who oversee more than 430 miles of electric line, with an average yearly load of 62 megawatts (MW) and an annual peak of 140 MW. PPS owns and operates a 120-MW simple cycle peaking plant powered by 16 miles of high-pressure gas, also owned by PPS.

PPS is preparing its community for the generation needs of the future by leading the deployment of new technologies and services. PPS subscribes to 15 MW of hydropower generation through their participation in AMP’s Hydro Phase I and Meldahl/Greenup hydroelectric projects. In addition, PPS owns 2 MW of hydropower generation through the Southeastern Power Administration.

The utility is also undertaking projects such as a Light Emitting Diode (LED) street light conversion project and a cost-of-service rate study and evaluation for the potential addition of network automation to its 69-kV transmission system.

Paducah’s utility takes pride in being an important part of a tightly knit community by sponsoring an annual Christmas in the Park event and a Public Power Week e-Scrap Collection event. The utility was recognized by the American Public Power Association with their 2019 Community Service Award for “good neighbor” activities.

The City of Paducah joined AMP as a member community in November 2008. It has a population of approximately 25,000 residents, and serves more than 22,000 total meters. Paducah participates in the following AMP programs:

  • Phase 1 Hydro, which includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River.
  • Meldahl/Greenup Hydro Project, which includes the run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facility at the Captain Anthony Meldahl Dam on the Ohio River and the existing generating facility at the Greenup Dam, also on the Ohio River.

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