Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

In this list
Coal | Electric Power

Alliance argues against Vectren's proposed solar project in Indiana

Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas

Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

Electric Power

Platts Forward Curves – Gas and Power

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

Electricity | Electric Power | Renewables

PJM differs from Cal-ISO and ERCOT in how renewables are treated in markets

Emissions | LNG | Natural Gas | Oil | Steel | Raw Materials | Containers

Commodity Tracker: 7 charts to watch this week

Alliance argues against Vectren's proposed solar project in Indiana

Highlights

Coal producers protest possible closure of 700 MW of coal capacity

Coal inventory increases slightly in the fall: filing

Louisville, Kentucky — Alliance Resource Partners is urging Indiana regulators to deny Vectren South's application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a proposed 50-megawatt solar facility, according to filings with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Debate over what would be one of the largest solar projects in Indiana to date is heating up at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which is expected to enter a final order in the case in the first half of 2019.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Alliance, along with the entire Indiana coal industry, is opposing plans by Vectren South to shutter about 700 MW of its coal-fired generating capacity by 2023, keeping open only 270-MW Unit 3 at the Culley power plant in Warrick County, Indiana. Alliance has argued that fuel and generation "diversity" is not a sufficient justification for the $76 million project.

Alliance, in a regulatory filing last week, said Vectren has never demonstrated the need for additional generating capacity and is expected to have an approximately 200-MW generation surplus in 2025.

Given that projection, building the solar project in Perry County, Indiana, merely to diversify the utility's generation portfolio is ill-advised and could cost Vectren South's 140,000 ratepayers millions of dollars in unnecessary expense over the years, the coal company contends.

At the least, Alliance said Vectren should postpone the solar project by several years instead of starting construction later this year, as planned, if it receives the go-ahead from the IURC.

In October, Vectren entered into a proposed settlement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the state's utility consumer watchdog, and the Indianapolis-based Citizens Action Coalition environmental and consumer advocacy group that would permit the project to be built after the utility agreed to reduce some customer-related project costs.

Alliance suggested the commission find that the solar project represents "de minimis" diversification as a basis for rejecting the settlement.

Vectren, in a rebuttal to the Alliance filing, disagreed.

"As with other solar projects the commission has approved, increasing capacity was never a main driver for the solar project," Vectren said. "Vectren South presented evidence that the primary drivers for the solar project are diversifying Vectren South's generation portfolio, complementing existing generation resources, low variable-cost power, and responding to customer desires and encouraging economic development."

Vectren also disputed Alliance's claim that only a handful of Vectren's largest customers, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA, have encouraged the utility to add more renewable energy resources to its mix.

In an unrelated filing last week, the OUCC said Vectren South's coal inventory increased slightly to 446,422 st by October 31, 2018, from 439,944 st as of September 30, 2018. There was no immediate explanation from Vectren about the increase.

-- Bob Matyi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, newsdesk@spglobal.com