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Industry News

NIPSCO to Retire Seven Coal-Fired Generating Units in Indiana

LCG, November 3, 2016--Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) announced Tuesday its plans to retire four of the company's seven coal-fired, electric generating units at two different power plants over the next seven years. The unit retirements, totaling over 1,200 MW of capacity, are roughly equivalent to 50 percent of the power currently generated from coal-fired assets. The announcement coincided with NIPSCO's submittal of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

The coal units targeted for retirement are at NIPSCO's Bailly Generating Station (units 7 and 8) in Chesterton by mid-2018 and two units at its Schahfer Generating Station (17 and 18) in Wheatfield by the end of 2023. These retirements are subject to review and approval by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). At Bailly, Unit 7 commenced service in 1962, and its generating capacity is 160 MW. Unit 8 began operations in 1968, with a capacity of 320 MW. At Schahfer, Units 17 and 18 each have a capacity of 361 MW and began commercial operations in 1983 and 1986, respectively.

NIPSCO will accelerate its transition away from coal, which accounted for approximately 90 percent of its portfolio in 2010 but only 72 percent today. NIPSCO has invested over $800 million in new environmental technologies for certain coal-fired units - nearly all of which was directed toward those units expected to continue operating - to improve air quality in compliance with federal regulations.

The planned retirements of the four coal units is driven by an aging fleet, low market prices for natural gas and new environmental regulations that would require significant further investments in the facilities.

NIPSCO's president stated, "Customer needs and the energy industry continue to evolve, and it's vital that we plan for tomorrow, today. We've identified a preferred path that provides customer and environmental benefits, reflective of our goal to focus on providing affordable, clean energy while maintaining flexibility for future technology and market changes."
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