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More than a year after court remand, NIPSCO grid modernization plan approved

Indianaregulators have adopted a settlement that approves 'sseven-year grid modernization plan and cost recovery of up to $1.25 billion forrelated improvement projects.

TheIndiana Utility Regulatory Commission on July 12 between the NiSource Inc.subsidiary and intervenors, which reducesthe capital costs for infrastructure investments by $80 million andcuts costs eligible for periodic rate recovery to $1.25 billion from $1.33billion with annual caps on rate recovery. (Cause No. 44733)

Theruling comes on the heels of IURC's approval of subsidiaryDuke Energy Indiana LLC'srevamped seven-year,$1.4 billion grid modernization plan.

Astate law approved in 2013 allows Indiana utilities to propose seven-year plansto invest in theirtransmission, distribution and storage systems and automatically adjust ratesperiodically to recover 80% of approved capital expenditures and specificimprovement costs. The remaining 20% of related costs is to be recovered in theutility's next general rate case.

Theinfrastructure improvements have been subject to by state regulatorsfollowing an April 2015 Indiana Court of Appeals decision that IURC had "" NIPSCO'soriginal $1.1 billion modernization plan because it lacked key details.

Theapproved plan includes a 9.975% ROE that will recovered through NIPSCO'stransmission, distribution and storage system improvement charge, or TDSIC,rider for eligible plan investments.

Otherelements of NIPSCO's plan include the replacement of utility-owned streetlightswith energy efficient LED lighting throughout NIPSCO's electric serviceterritory with costs divided evenly between municipalities and customers, andup to $3.5 million for an economic development project at the KingsburyIndustrial Park in LaPorte County.