Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC says it has “refined” its plan to retire two coal fired plants and invest in solar and wind farms. The subsidiary of Merrillville-based of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) says it is now expecting to shut down the Michigan City Generating Station between 2026 and 2028. An earlier version of the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan said the retirement would occur in 2028.
The utility says it still expects to retire the remaining coal-burning units at the R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield by 2023. However, it will continue to operate a natural gas system. The IRP calls for a natural gas peaking unit to replace a vintage gas-powered unit at the power plant in Jasper County.
“As we continue this journey, we recognize the importance of maintaining a diverse energy portfolio that enables flexibility to adapt to evolving market rules, policy and technology advancements, while providing additional time for continued research and refinement of our long-term energy strategy. Meanwhile, careful consideration for how this transition affects our workforce and local communities is a critical focus area as the plan continues to move forward,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president.
While the company has focused on investing in solar and wind projects, it says it may pursue potential hydrogen energy and other emerging storage technologies.