September 20 (Solar) – Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of US utility NiSource Inc (NYSE:NI), is considering moving up the retirement of its coal-fired plants and their replacement with lower-cost renewable energy resources.
At a public meeting with customers, consumer representatives, environmental organisations and other stakeholders, the Indiana-based natural gas and power distributor outlined the option of retiring most of its 1.8 GW of coal-fired generation in the next five years and the remainder within the next 10 years. This concerns the R M Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, which should be retired no later than 2023, and the Michigan City Generating Station in Michigan City, which should cease operations by 2028.
"Retiring our aging coal fleet sooner will cost substantially less compared to our original plans for extending retirements over a longer duration," stated Violet Sistovaris, NiSource executive vice president and NIPSCO president.
The company mentioned renewables such as wind, solar and battery storage technology as the likely replacement options. It, however, stressed that the decision is not final.
NIPSCO intends to submit its final plan to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission by November 1, 2018.