Louisville, Kentucky — Northern Indiana Public Service retired two coal units totaling 480 MW at its Bailly plant on Lake Michigan at midnight Thursday, but will await completion of a new integrated resource plan to determine the fate of its remaining coal-fired generation, a utility spokesman said Friday.
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Nick Meyer said the new IRP could validate the utility's prior decision to shutter units 17 and 18, totaling 722 MW, at its flagship R.M. Schahfer coal plant near Wheatfield, Indiana, in 2023.
But that remains to be seen, Meyer said, as Nipsco is receiving comments from a variety of parties on its future generation plans to be covered by the next IRP. It is scheduled to be submitted by early December to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
In a recently issued request for proposals, Nipsco said it will consider a combination of potential resources to meet the future needs of its customers. The RFP is set to close in late June.
With Bailly's retirement, Nipsco's total generating capacity fell to about 3,300 MW. A majority is supplied by coal, as represented by the 469-MW Michigan City power plant in addition to Schahfer.
Meyer confirmed that the two potentially affected Schahfer units "will be reviewed in the context of the current IRP."
In its previous IRP, Nipsco said it intended to continue running Michigan City indefinitely, "and that hasn't changed," Meyer said.
Nipsco also is expected to consider adding more renewables such and wind and solar, distributed generation, natural gas and battery storage.
Nipsco's last IRP indicated the utility planned to shut about 50% of its coal generation by 2023. The company has bought about 7 million st a year, much of it from the Powder River Basin.
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