Chesterton Tribune

 

 

NIPSCO seeks to retire most coal fired plants in next 5 years

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The Northern Indiana Public Service Company is announcing plans to retire a “majority” of its remaining coal-fired generation plants in the next five years and all coal generation within the next 10 years.

Coal retirement is “the most viable option for customers,” NIPSCO said in a statement released on Wednesday, according to an analysis conducted “as part of its future electric supply planning process.”

Likely replacement options point toward lower-cost renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and battery storage technology,” the company said. “While not yet final, NIPSCO outlined the option for its electric generation strategy at a public meeting with customers, consumer representatives, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders taking part in the company’s Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process.”

“This creates a vision for the future that is better for our customers and it’s consistent with our goal to transition to the best cost, cleanest electric supply mix available while maintaining reliability, diversity, and flexibility for technology and market changes,” NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said.

The timeline for NIPSCO’s five remaining coal-fired units identified in the analysis shows the expected retirement of its R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheeler (Units 14, 15, 17 and 18) no later than 2023; and its Michigan City Generating Station in Michigan City (Unit 12) by 2028.

“Retiring the approximate 1,800 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired generation will significantly accelerate carbon reductions across the NIPSCO footprint and will result in further reductions, both in timing and magnitude, beyond previously announced targets,” the company said.

“Technology and market changes continue to transform the energy industry, opening more competitive options and it’s the primary driver of the changes being considered for our system,” Sistovaris said. “Retiring our aging coal fleet sooner will cost substantially less compared to our original plans for extending retirements over a longer duration.”

Operation of NIPSCO’s existing natural gas-fired Sugar Creek Generating Station in West Terre Haute and the Norway and Oakdale Hydroelectric Dams along the Tippecanoe River would continue, the company added.

NIPSCO said that the company “has been--and will continue--working with stakeholders and regulators to solicit further input to aid in formulating its final plan.” NIPSCO expects to submit that plan to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission by Nov. 1.

More information about NIPSCO’s electric supply strategies and the IRP process can be found at NIPSCO.com/IRP

 

Posted 9/20/2018

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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