THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Indianapolis plant switching from coal to natural gas

- Associated Press - Friday, May 29, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis Power and Light Co. plant that has produced electricity
for more than 80 years is preparing to burn its last load of coal next spring and switch to natural
gas.


The massive conversion will cost $70 million. It’s a move that Indianapolis Power and Light
says is the utility’s best option to meet clean-air regulations.


Natural gas will be used to drive turbine generators and generate electricity at the facility by
heating water into steam, The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1d3s7Jj ) reported.


The conversion will tack on about $1 a month to the average customer’s electric bill, according
to the company.


The move also signals a victory for anti-coal activists, who have said the plant is a major source
of pollution and a health hazard, as well as a setback for the state’s coal industry, which prides
itself of being a supplier of inexpensive and abundant fuel.


Indiana has outpaced the nation in relying on coal for decades. The state still uses coal-fired
power plants to produce about 80 percent of its power, which is about double the national rate.


The power plants in Indiana produce more carbon dioxide than the plants in all but three other
states, and Indiana’s plants produce more mercury than all but four other states.


But President Barack Obama and his administration are seeking to tighten rules on smogforming
pollution, and the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed that the current
standard for smog be reduced from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion.


If the proposed standards were to go into effect today, as many as 25 of Indiana’s 92 counties
would struggle to meet the stricter regulations.


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and 10 other Republican governors have asked the EPA not to push for
the switch.


Although a plan to convert the entire plant to natural gas still needs final approval from state
regulators, it would reduce Indianapolis Power and Light’s dependence on coal, across its
Indiana fleet, from 79 percent in 2007 to 44 percent in 2017.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com


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