Indiana utility moves forward on plans to curb use of coal

Indiana
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A northern Indiana utility is moving forward with plans to reduce its coal-fired power generating capacity.

Thursday was the last scheduled day of operation for two coal-fired generators at NIPSCO’s Bailly Generating Station near Chesterton, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Employees gathered this week “to commemorate the fact that the facility has served more than 50 years, and the important role it played,” said NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer. The plant sits on 100 acres and dates back to 1962, but became fully operational in 1968.

Coal’s cost relative to natural gas, environmental policies and service reliability were factors in the decision to shut down the generators, Meyer said.

NIPSCO said in 2016 it planned to retire about half of its coal-fired power generating capacity by the end of 2023.

“Bailly was the first step in that plan,” Meyer said.

The company next plans to retire two of four coal-fired units at the Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield.

NIPSCO will update the plan this year and consider the utility’s energy sources for the next 20 years.

The plan will consider a mix of energy sources “when determining a long-term plan that balances the needs of our customers and communities,” NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said.

The new Integrated Resource Plan is expected to be finalized later this year after a series of stakeholder and public meetings.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com

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