The president and CEO of AES Indiana says the utility’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is the next step in a decade-long transition to more renewable energy. The utility, formerly known as Indianapolis Power & Light, filed its plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission earlier this month. Kristina Lund says the plan is a “leap forward” because of its projected 68% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, which “actually exceeds what the city of Indianapolis asked us to do, so we’re very pleased by that.”
Lund talked about the plan in a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“We are going to add 1.3 gigawatts of wind, solar and battery energy storage, and just to give some context, our total portfolio is 3.5 gigawatts,” said Lund. “We are [also] going to convert our coal plant in Petersburg to natural gas, and what this is is a minor modification to the infrastructure that we have on site, and there’s actually a natural gas pipeline that is already on site.”
The IRP, which is required every three years, also includes monitoring of new technologies such as green hydrogen, small modular reactors and carbo capture.
AES Indiana is expecting wind, solar and battery energy storage is going to grow very fast in the state. Lund said with recent federal legislation will drive utilities to add more renewable energy sources.
Lund adds the transition of the Petersburg Generating Station in Pike County from coal to natural gas and battery energy storage also involves the transition of the workforce.
“What we’re really focused on is incorporating new technologies, making the most of this site, and then also really helping our people learn new skills and placing them in new jobs either in Pike County with these new technologies, potentially in Indianapolis where we have a lot of opportunities on the transmission and distribution side, and then AES is actually global company and we are hiring around the company.”
Lund says the work in Petersburg will also benefit its Eagle Valley Generating Station in Martinsville and Harding Street Station in Indianapolis.
You can view the full IRP by clicking here.
Just a few weeks after the IRP was filed, Indiana Advanced Energy Economy issued a formal request to AES Indiana and Plainfield-based Duke Energy Indiana urging the utilities to offer more options to large energy customers to receive their electricity from renewable energy.
Our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal reported the public letter was co-signed by Coca-Cola, Walmart, Salesforce, Cummins Inc., Rivian and Roche. It asked the utilities to implement a “green tariff” program that would allow companies to purchase electricity from cleaner power sources.
“As major employers and large electricity consumers in Indiana, we write in support of our utilities offering options by which we can source our electricity from renewable resources,” the letter said. “Participating in such an offering, often referred to as a ‘green tariff,’ would allow us to increase our use of renewable energy, and to express our support for increased and diversified renewable energy supplies in Indiana.”
In an email to the IBJ, AES Indiana said it would continue to have conversations with its customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals. The utility added it already offers a Green Power Option, “which allows all or part of customers’ monthly usage to be generated by an environmentally friendly, renewable resource by utilizing Renewable Energy Credits.”