Indiana utility petitions for $100M of pollution controls

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Power & Light Co. has filed petitions to install $100 million worth of pollution controls at its Petersburg Generating Station so it may keep burning coal and meet environmental regulations. The utility recently filed the petitions with the Indiana Utility...

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Power & Light Co. has filed petitions to install $100 million worth of pollution controls at its Petersburg Generating Station so it may keep burning coal and meet environmental regulations.

The utility recently filed the petitions with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, The Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/29llhyu ) reports. If approved, a residential customer's monthly bill could increase by 20 cents next year. IPL estimates that amount could increase to $1.40 a month by 2021.

Some are critical of the request for pollution controls, saying the Petersburg plant is old, inefficient and will likely need millions of dollars in upgrades every few years to meet a series of stricter environmental regulations.

The utility stopped using coal earlier this year at two of its other plants in Indianapolis and Martinsville in favor of natural gas.

Jennifer Washburn, an attorney at Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, said the Petersburg plant is a bad investment and should be shut down.

The Sierra Club agrees that the plant should be closed.

Jodi Perras, head of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in Indiana, said the "IPL would rather spend a hundred million dollars here, a couple hundred million dollars there, to keep burning coal."

The utility said it studies various options for the Petersburg plant, including converting the four generating units to natural gas, and retiring them. They also considered replacing them with other resources, but IPL spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy said coal was the best option to keep rates affordable.

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Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, http://www.ibj.com

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