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NIPSCO plans to retire Bailly Generating Station by mid-2018

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Bailly Generating Station coal-fired units could be permanently decommissioned and retired from service in less than two years.

But under an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which the Northern Indiana Public Service Company filed today with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), the Bailly Generating Station will be retired.

The IRP in which NIPSCO formalizes its plans to retire the Bailly Generating Station involved “several months of analysis, public meetings, and input from customers, consumer representatives, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders,” NIPSCO said in a statement released today.

“Customer needs and the energy industry continue to evolve, and it’s vital that we plan for tomorrow, today,” said NIPSCO president Violet Sistovaris. “We’ve identified a preferred path that provides customer and environmental benefits, reflective of our goal to focus on providing affordable, clean energy while maintaining flexibility for future technology and market changes.”

“NIPSCO analyzed a range of options for its existing electric generating fleet, while evaluating the unique impacts on customer costs, environmental compliance, communities, and workforce needs,” the company said. “Based on a combination of those factors, the results led to a plan that will include the retirement of four of the company’s seven coal-fired electric generating units at two different power plants over the next seven years.”

Specifically, NIPSCO plans to retire Bailly Generating Station’s coal-fired units “as soon as mid-2018”; and two of the R.M. Schahfer Generating Station’s coal-fired units by the end of 2023.

Those units account for roughly 50 percent of the power which NIPSCO currently produces from coal, the company said.

Approximately 110 employees work at the Bailly Generating Station, and NIPSCO’s “goal is to provide ongoing work opportunities for existing employees by proactively working with union leadership and affected employees,” Sistovaris said.

NIPSCO attributed its decision to retire the Bailly and Schahfer coal-fired units to “an aging fleet, low market prices for natural gas, and new environmental regulations that would require significant investments, beyond what NIPSCO recently invested.” Under the IRP, “some of these incremental costs will be avoided, providing long-term benefits to customers.”

NIPSCO did say that, in the short term, the company “will rely primarily on existing resources through 2019,” although “there may be a window of time when purchased power is needed during the transition.”

“For those units where environmental upgrades are needed to comply with newly added environmental regulations, NIPSCO will be moving forward with required environmental compliance filings consistent with the results indicated in the IRP,” the company added.

“NIPSCO will continue to assess the plan for long-term generation; the plan will be further revisited and refined in the next IRP,” the company said. “In the meantime, NIPSCO will begin work to identify affordable replacement options. Based on current findings in the IRP, NIPSCO expects that a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) is a likely candidate, but this option is subject to change, based on key market, compliance and technology developments.”

NIPSCO noted that its portfolio for electric supply has already shifted in the last decade to include less coal-fired generation. In 2010, NIPSCO’s energy supply mix included about 90 percent coal-fired generation, while today, that mix is only 72 percent coal fired. “NIPSCO has also invested more than $800 million in new environmental technologies for certain coal-fired units--nearly all of which was directed toward those units expected to continue operating--to improve air quality in compliance with federal regulations.”

For more information about NIPSCO’s energy plan and the IRP process, visit NIPSCO.com/IRP

 

 

Posted 11/1/2016

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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