Indianapolis Power & Light Co. says it will convert one of its power plants from coal-fired to natural gas by 2017. The utility says the move is the result of new wastewater regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Vice President of Public Affairs Greg Fennig says the $140 million project will result in a monthly bill increase of about $1 for an average residential customer. He says, once the project is complete, natural gas will be IPL's largest fuel generation source.
August 15, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. — Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) will soon file plans with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to repower Unit 7 at Harding Street Generation Station (HSS) from coal-fired to natural gas. This conversion is part of IPL's overall wastewater compliance plan for its power plants.
“IPL has a commitment to provide affordable electricity, and converting Harding Street Unit 7 to natural gas is the best plan for our customers because it is the reasonable, least cost option,” said Kelly Huntington, IPL President and CEO. “Compliance with current and future EPA standards will continue to increase the cost of electricity for our customers.”
In May, IPL received approval from the IURC to convert Harding Street Units 5 and 6 from coal to natural gas. IPL plans to stop burning coal at the Harding Street power plant in 2016, if plans to convert Unit 7 are approved.
This plan would reduce IPL's dependence on coal from 79 percent in 2007 to 44 percent in 2017, making natural gas IPL's largest fuel generation source. IPL also remains a leader in wind and solar generation. A recent study by Environment California Research & Policy Center indicated that Indianapolis ranks fifth in the U.S. for solar per capita.
“IPL has faced some difficult choices regarding how to balance the impact of upcoming EPA regulations and the effect these mandates have on its customers,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Even during this difficult time, IPL remains focused on its customers, the community and finding creative solutions to increase sustainability.”
As a result of converting Unit 7 to natural gas, the Harding Street coal pile and ash ponds will be closed. Compliance with EPA standards will continue to significantly increase the cost of electricity for customers. This compliance plan at Harding Street will cost the typical IPL residential customer approximately a dollar a month, if the proposed plans are approved by the IURC.
In the past few years, IPL has announced the closure or refueling of 12 of its coal-fired or oil-fired power generating units. As IPL continues to look at its customers’ long-term needs, the utility will remain focused on cleaner, more efficient and cost-effective generation options. IPL currently has the lowest residential rates of the largest 20 cities in the United States. For more information about IPL’s planned generation, go to www.IPLpower.com.
About Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL): Indianapolis Power & Light Company, an AES Company, provides retail electric service to more than 470,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County. During its long history, IPL has supplied its customers with some of the lowest-cost, most reliable power in the country. For more information about the company, please visit www.IPLpower.com or connect with us at www.twitter.com/IPLpower, www.facebook.com/IPLpower or www.linkedin.com/company/IPLpower.
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 20 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce of 17,800 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. Our 2013 revenues were $16 billion and we own and manage $40 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit www.aes.com. Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp.
Source: Indianapolis Power & Light Co.