Outside of Evansville, a southern Indiana utility plans to build two additional natural gas plants and a pipeline to transport the fuel to them. This project will benefit CenterPoint Energy, previously Vectren, in its transition to renewable energy, according to the company. It might potentially cost customers roughly $900 million over the next two decades for plants that will only be used 10% of the time.
Last year, the Texas-based company, which serves consumers in southern Indiana, applied to the state utility regulatory commission for approval of the facilities. As it retires certain coal facilities and adds more solar and wind to its mix, CenterPoint claims that this is an essential step to maintain reliable service. Despite the fact that much of CenterPoint future power generation will come from renewables, the company’s proposal for gas facilities and a pipeline has both consumer and environmental organisations concerned.
CenterPoint Energy has announced plans to retire around 700 megawatts of coal-fired power in Indiana and replace it with more than 700 megawatts of solar and 300 megawatts of wind power. In addition to renewables, the company plans to construct two additional natural gas units with a combined capacity of 460 megawatts.