PPL Corporation

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PPL Corporation
Traded as NYSEPPL
S&P 500 Component
Industry Electric utilities
Founded 1920
Headquarters Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
Key people
William H. Spence (Chairman, President and CEO)
Revenue IncreaseUS$12.737 Billion (2011)
IncreaseUS$1.495 Billion (2011)
Number of employees
13,500 (2010)
Slogan We'll Be There When The Light Goes On
Website www.pplweb.com

PPL Corporation, formerly known as PP&L or Pennsylvania Power and Light,[1] is an energy company headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. It currently controls about 19,000 megawatts (MW) of electrical generating capacity in the United States, primarily in Pennsylvania and Montana, and delivers electricity to 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, nearly a million in Kentucky, and 7.8 million in Great Britain. It also provides natural gas delivery service to 321,000 customers in Kentucky.

The majority of PPL's power plants burn coal, oil, or natural gas. PPL also owns peaking plants, which require few operators and have a high profit margin due to their ability to rapidly come online when the price of electricity spikes. PPL's largest plant is the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a 2,352 MW nuclear power plant, located on the Susquehanna River seven miles (11 km) northeast of Berwick, Pennsylvania.

The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol NYSEPPL.

PPL is the fourth largest employer in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.[2] The company's headquarters is based in the PPL Building, the tallest building in Allentown.

On November 1, 2010 PPL Corporation purchased E.ON US, the parent company of Kentucky's two major utilities, Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company for $7.625 billion from German utility firm E.ON.[3]

On June 6, 2014 PPL announced it will be divesting its electrical generation facilities.[4]


PPL was founded in 1920 out of a merger of eight smaller Pennsylvania utilities. It confined its activities to central and northeastern Pennsylvania for several decades until deregulation of electrical utilities in the 1990s encouraged PPL to purchase assets in other states. The largest of these transactions was PPL's 1998 purchase of 13 plants from Montana Power (leaving NorthWestern Energy - the buyer of the former Montana Power transmission and distribution systems - vulnerable to high "spot" prices on the energy market). This added over 2,500 MW of capacity and was the largest expansion in PPL's history.

In May, 2002, PPL announced that Robert G. Byram, PPL's chief nuclear officer since 1997, was retiring from the company. Bryce L. Shriver, who had served as vice president-Nuclear Site Operations at PPL's Susquehanna plant since 2000, became senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.[5]

PPL's 2008 revenue was $8.2 billion, with a net profit of $930 million, making it number 314 on the 2009 Fortune 500 list.[6] After acquiring Central Networks and LG&E, PPL's 2011 profit rose to $1.495 billion, on $12.7 billion in revenue, ranking it number 212 on Fortune's 2012 list.[7]

In March 2011, PPL acquired from E.ON the British distribution company Central Networks for £3.5 billion.[8]

Talen Energy is a proposed new electric generation company formed from the generation assets of PPL and Riverstone Holdings.[4] The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted conditional approval for PPL's plan to spinoff electric power generation plants and combine it with New York-based power generator Riverstone Holdings, to form a new entity called Talen Energy.[9]

FERC is concerned that the mitigation will create too large of a company that will negatively impact competitiveness concerns They offered PPL one of three options to gain their approval.

  • Sell all 2,000 megawatts worth of the plants named in both divestiture options.
  • Stick with either of the two individual divestiture plans and agree to cost-based price controls on electricity sold into certain markets by the plants it does not sell off.
  • Come up with a third option that will meet the agency's concerns about market competitiveness.

Talen will also need approvals from Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Justice before final approval.

PPL will not hold any stock in the new company.[4]


Controversy in foreign subsidiary[edit]

After the takeover in 2000 of Wales' largest company, Hyder, to form half of Western Power Distribution (a UK-based energy distribution company and subsidiary of PPL), a local beauty spot and part Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, called Llanishen Reservoir, was acquired as an asset.[10][11] Western Power and PPL's plans to redevelop the surface area of the reservoir to include 300 new houses with a smaller 'wildlife area' are highly controversial, and the issue has been taken by various British MPs to the Welsh Assembly and the UK parliament.[12][13]

Customer Satisfaction[edit]

PPL Electric Utilities, which serves 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of Pennsylvania in the United States, has received 15 J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction — more than any other utility in the United States.[citation needed]

In June, 2013, J.D. Power announced that PPL EnergyPlus ranked highest in the state for residential customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's first study of competitive electricity suppliers in Pennsylvania.[14]


The PPL Building is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

PPL Building[edit]

Main article: PPL Building

The PPL Building is the tallest building in Allentown. The building has 23 stories and is 322 feet (98 m) tall. It is the second tallest building in the Lehigh Valley after Bethlehem's Martin Tower. It is located at the intersection of Hamilton and Ninth Streets in the downtown area of the city.

The Plaza at PPL Center[edit]

In June 2003, PPL Corporation dedicated The Plaza at PPL Center, a new office building for continued growth in the company's non-regulated energy businesses.[15]

The Plaza at PPL Center, PPL's new office building in downtown Allentown, Pa., boasts a long list of environmental features, including a vegetative roof and innovative energy and water-saving devices.

It has been awarded the Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program for making use of sustainable development principles.


In February 2010, the PPL Corporation purchased the naming rights to PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania (which is outside of PPL's service territory), the home stadium of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union. As part of the $25 million, 11-year deal, PPL EnergyPlus provides sustainable energy to PPL Park derived from other sources in Pennsylvania.[16]

PPL also owns the naming rights to the PPL Center in Allentown, which will host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League starting in the 2014 season. PPL paid an undisclosed sum over ten years.[17]


External links[edit]