New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

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Industry News

Proposed Indiana Power Plant Draws Protests

LCG, Feb. 1, 2001PSEG Global, an affiliate of Newark, N.J.-based Public Service Electric & Gas Co., held a public meeting at an Indianapolis, Ind., high school to acquaint residents of the benefits of a proposed 500 to 850 megawatt merchant power plant.

The company came armed with a slide presentation showing pictures of handsome power plants surrounded by trees and landscaping and table illustrating the benefits of a power plant to the local tax base.

Hundreds of residents turned out to oppose the plant.

That was fine with PSEG Global officials who said they welcomed the opportunity to allay fears surrounding a new project. "We will not put a power plant in a community where there is no support," Lathrop B. Craig, PSEG's manager of business development said. "We are not here to force it through or sneak it through."

Many of the protesters were worried about where water to operate the plant would come from. When the company said that the plant would use between 5 million and 9 million gallons of water from the White River every day, a man in the audience asked "Does the river have that much water in it?"

Indiana, to an extent much less than that in California, faces a power shortage. During the summer of 1999, a record heat wave that occurred while some power plants were shut down for maintenance forced utilities to ask their customers to conserve energy.

PSEG could not assure its audience that all the new plant's output would be reserved for Indiana consumers. Craig did say that he expected American Electric Power Co., Cinergy Corp. and Indianapolis Power & Light Co. would all be customers of the plant, and they all have operations in Indiana.

Craig began to win a few converts when he talked about the addition to the local tax base the plant would make. He said the plant could add as much as $100 million to the county tax base and generate an average of $2 million in annual tax revenues.

"The price that farmers are paying for their property taxes to fund the schools is very high here andthis would be a good way to lower it," a man in the audience said.

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