Vectren Natural Gas Plant Proposal Denied

Posted: Updated:
Vectren was acquired by CenterPoint Energy earlier this year. Vectren was acquired by CenterPoint Energy earlier this year.

A nearly $800 million proposal by Vectren South in Evansville has been shot down. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has issued an order unanimously denying the utility's plan to build a natural gas-fired generation plant in Posey County. The commission said it was not convinced that "the utility's proposal would allow it flexibility and optionality." 

Vectren first announced plans for the facility in February 2018. The following August, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor recommended a denial of the plan by the IURC because it had not fully evaluated all viable options for meeting the needs of its customers.

In the order issued Wednesday, the IURC said, "The proposed large scale single resource investment for a utility of Vectren South’s size does not present an outcome which reasonably minimizes the potential risk that customers could sometime in the future be saddled with an uneconomic investment or serve to foster utility and customer flexibility in an environment of rapid technological innovation.”

The plant would have been built at the site of the existing A.B. Brown power plant in Posey County.

"We are hard pressed to see how reliance on one facility for so much of the Vectren South system requirements is consistent with maintaining flexibility to respond to changing market conditions and technological change," the commission said in the order.

Vectren was acquired by Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) earlier this year in a $6 billion deal. The utility released a statement Wednesday regarding the order.

"We appreciate the IURC’s continued thorough review of our electric generation transition plan," said Lynnae Wilson, chief business officer for Indiana electric at Vectren. "As we demonstrated in our case, economic and reliability factors are driving a transition from coal-based generation and the selection of replacement resources will continue to be our focus. The case was filed at a time of significant changes in generation technology. While a large generation resource offered significant economic efficiencies, the IURC has directed us to increase our focus on the benefits of a more diverse resource mix. We look forward to continuing to discuss with the IURC investment alternatives to provide our customers affordable, reliable and balanced energy."

The IURC, however, did approve Vectren South's plans to retrofit one of its coal-fired units at the F.B. Culley plant in Warrick County in order to stay in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards related to coal ash and wastewater handling. The effort was estimated to cost $95 million.

  • Perspectives

    • How to Find a New Audience After Hitting a Marketing Plateau

      It may sound like a marketer’s dream scenario: efforts have proven to be so successful it appears a company has completely saturated their target audience. While it may be a good problem to have, it still may be a problem. Hitting a marketing plateau is an opportunity for companies in any industry to reevaluate, re-energize and come to the table with new ideas for better understanding existing customers and engaging new audiences.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Gas City Startup Helping Hemp Farmers

      Last month, it became legal for Hoosier farmers to grow hemp and a Gas City-based startup is being aggressive in being among the first to take advantage of market opportunities. Heartland Harvest Processing is helping farmers connect the new agricultural commodity to consumer products, including CBD. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moorman says the first hemp harvest under the new law is expected to begin next month. In an interview with Business of Health...

    • IU, Purdue Notch New Enrollment Levels

      Indiana’s two largest state universities are starting the fall semester with a record number of attendees. Indiana University Bloomington says it is welcoming its largest-ever class of first-year students, nearly 8,300 based on preliminary figures.

    • Nationwide, AAA Travel says nearly 47 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home.

      Indiana in Bottom Half of Annual Highway Report

      Indiana's highway system needs a lot of work, according to a new study. The Hoosier state ranks 33rd in the nation in condition and overall cost-effectiveness in the Annual Highway Report, published by the California-based Reason Foundation.

    • Eleven Fifty is headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      State to Launch 5G Hub in Downtown Indy

      The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy. The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test...

    • (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Crews Start Demolition of Carson's in Hammond

      The face of downtown retail in Hammond is changing once again with the demolition of Carson’s department store, the one-time the anchor of Woodmar Mall. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report excavating crews have started to demolish the last vestige of the shopping center which stood since the 1950s.