Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc., is working on its future electric supply planning process. According to the company, recent analysis shows that the most viable option for customers would include moving up the retirement of a majority of its remaining coal-fired generation in the next five years and all coal within the next 10 years.
NIPSCO says replacement options point toward lower-cost renewable energy resources such as wind, solar and battery storage technology.
“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,” said NiSource Executive Vice President and NIPSCO president, Violet Sistovaris.
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 (Units 14, 15, 17 and 18) located in Wheatfield, Ind., no later than 2023, and its Michigan City Generating Station (Unit 12) located in Michigan City, Ind., by 2028.
Retiring the approximate 1,800 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.
“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,” added Sistovaris. “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, Ind., and the Norway and Oakdale Hydroelectric Dams along the Tippecanoe River would continue.
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