Two Indiana utilities are taking heat for 165 miles of new transmission capacity they’ve earmarked to move wind-generated electricity across the state, but connected to coal-fired power plants in the southwestern part of the state.
Utilities NIPSCO and Pioneer Transmission are expected to launch construction later this year on a new 100-mile line from White County to LaGrange County, followed by 65 miles of transmission to carry power from the Indianapolis area through Reynolds, IN to the eastern U.S. “Particularly in Indiana, a lot of the wind farms are having trouble getting power to market,” said NIPSCO spokesperson Nick Meyer. “These two lines will serve Indiana and the broader Midwest, and help get some of the renewable power out east where there is a need for it.”
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But the Indianapolis-based Citizens Action Coalition “says Pioneer, which is a joint venture by Duke and American Electric Power, is too addicted to coal,” the Public News Service reports.
“We have utility companies continuing to invest billions of dollars in aging coal plants that really should be retired and replaced with clean energy, so Indiana isn’t doing so well,” said Executive Director Kerwin Olson. “When we see a large transmission project being constructed by Duke and AEP that’s connected to all of their coal-fired power plants in southwest Indiana, that leads us to believe potentially that these lines will be used to sell surplus coal-fired power.” (h/t to Midwest Energy News for pointing us to this story)
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