Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal With Renewables Will Save Customers $4 Billion over the next 30 years
Coal is king in Indiana when it comes to making electricity, but not for much longer. On October 31, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. filed its latest Integrated Resource Plan — the company’s roadmap to the future. After considering more than 30 different proposals, NIPSCO found a mix of solar, wind, energy storage, and demand management — along with a small amount of purchases from Midcontinent ISO — to be the most cost-effective way to supply its customers with electricity in coming years.
In fact, the analysis that went into creating the IRP shows the plan will save NIPSCO customers more than $4 billion over the next 30 years. The plan will see the role of coal decrease from 65% today to 15% in 2023 before reaching zero in 2028. The company owns and operates the 1900 MW Schahfer coal generating station located in Wheatfield, Indiana. Schahfer is one of the dirtiest facilities in the US, spewing out more than 8 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. Its newest units were built in the 1980s.
To replace its Schahfer and Michigan City coal fired generating plants, NIPSCO plans to use a mixture of 1,500 MW of solar and storage, 150 MW of wind, 125 MW of efficiency and demand-side management, and 50 MW of market purchases by 2028, according to Utility Dive.
The Indiana Coal Council begged the utility to take another look at its figures before making a decision. But even taking the best case scenario suggest by the Council, which included higher natural gas prices than exist today, the numbers still added up to a win for renewables.
Economics will do what politicians cannot. There is no engine on Earth that can restrain the imperative of lower prices for long.
|Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal With Renewables Will Save Customers $4 Billion | CleanTechnica
Economics are driving Northern Indiana Public Service to do what the Clean Power Plan could not -- shutter one of the dirtiest coal generating stations in America.