February 4, 2019 Read More →

Indiana utility moves ahead with coal phase-out plans

Northwest Indiana Times:

Three upcoming wind farm projects will help NIPSCO move toward its goal of being coal-free by the end of 2028, the company announced Friday.

Wind farms in Montgomery, White and Benton and Warren counties will add nearly 300 turbines and 800 megawatts of electricity generating capacity to the state’s landscape, and NIPSCO has entered agreements to acquire power from each.

The projects involve partnerships between the Merrillville-based utility and the private companies developing the farms. The agreements resulted from a request NIPSCO issued last year for proposals for alternative energy generation.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to add more home-grown renewable energy in Indiana,” NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said in the company’s announcement. “In addition to the economic benefits that projects like these add, the transition we’re making in our electric generation equates to an estimated $4 billion in cost-savings for customers over the long-term.”

NIPSCO’s “Your Energy, Your Future” plan calls for retirement of its coal-fired generators at the Schahfer plant near Wheatfield by the end of 2023, and of the generator at its Michigan City plant by the end of 2028. Its strategic plan, developed last year, concluded that the long-term cost of coal, including the cost of maintaining coal-fired plants, was higher than the cost of other sources, including wind and solar, coupled with battery storage technology.

NIPSCO received a total of 90 responses to its request for proposals, with 70 in Indiana. More projects could result from those proposals, and NIPSCO intends to issue a second request for proposals for renewable energy projects this year. NIPSCO has submitted the wind farm plans to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for its approval. NIPSCO and the project developers expect the farms to be operational by late 2020.

More: NIPSCO plans partnership with 3 wind farms in Indiana

 

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