updated: 11/17/2011 7:42:24 AM

Coalition Supports NIPSCO Clean Energy Efforts

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

 Sierra Club Field Organizer Virginia Shannon tells Inside INdiana Business about the aim of the Clean Energy Future Coalition.

Business, labor and environmental groups have formed a coalition backing NIPSCO's clean energy initiatives. The Sierra Club is taking the lead in supporting the company's efforts to connect customers to solar, wind, hydro or biomass power generating systems. The coalition is also touting NIPSCO's net metering program.

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November 17, 2011

News Release

Michigan City: The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal group held a community reception and press conference on Wednesday November 16th, 2011 at the Long Beach Old School Community Center to launch the Clean Energy Future Coalition. The newly formed Clean Energy Future Coalition represents a comprehensive effort from businesses, labor groups, and environmental groups occurring throughout Indiana to move beyond burning coal to clean energy production.

“This is an exciting moment for northern Indiana with NIPSCO customers, businesses and organizations coming together to support renewable energy” said Chair of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club Steve Francis “The Sierra Club strongly supports NIPSCO’s clean energy initiatives, with the good jobs that go with them, and will continue to collaborate with NIPSCO to move Indiana towards a clean energy future.”

NIPSCO has taken a lead in clean energy by offering two renewable energy options to its customers: a net metering program and a pilot feed-in tariff program. Both programs are designed to connect customers with solar, wind, hydro, or biomass systems to the grid and receive credit or payment for energy produced from the utility. The Clean Energy Future Coalition formed to thank NIPSCO’s CEO Jimmy Staton for creating their renewable energy programs and urging Staton to ensure NIPSCO resolves any technical issues keeping solar and wind projects from being approved and beginning.

Indiana is ranked in the top 10 states for clean energy investment and potential job creation. “Clean Energy programs, like NIPSCO’s net-metering and Feed in Tariff, will create economic opportunity to put Hoosiers back to work in the jobs and industries that will keep us competitive in the 21st century” said Regional Director of the Blue Green Alliance Tom Conway, “Clean energy investments can create good jobs, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and leave our children and grandchildren a strong economic and environmental legacy.”

Local speakers included Steve Francis, Hoosier Sierra Club Chapter Chair, Tom Conway, Regional Director for the Blue Green Alliance, Russ Draper, Renewable Energy Consultant at Home Energy LLC, and Matthew Kubik, Associate Professor at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) and Co-Author of “The Green Age: Transforming Your Life Choices for the 21st Century”. They addressed job creation, solar and wind energy, and the critical need and potential to move northwest Indiana forward to clean energy.

The Sierra Club also unveiled 1,000 petitions from customers thanking NIPSCO CEO Jimmy Staton for positioning NIPSCO as a leader in clean energy and urging NIPSCO to fully develop its feed-in tariff and net metering programs that will start wind and solar projects and make northern Indiana into the hub of Indiana’s clean energy economy.

“With the NIPSCO feed in tariff program being unveiled in the last few months clean energy has a bright future in Northern Indiana” said Russ Draper at Home Energy LCC of Middlebury, IN,” We have seen a definite increase in interest in the residential market, and when you can offer a business a way to help cut fixed costs and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint, that's a win-win for everyone.”

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The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign is a nationwide effort to make sure that the existing fleet of outdated coal plants gets cleaned up or phased out – and is replaced by solar and wind energy that’s ready to fill our energy needs, create new jobs, and jump-start the green economy.

For more information, visit www.beyondcoal.org

Source: The Sierra Club

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