An Indiana shopper safety company has informed state regulators they need to reject Vectren Corp.’s plan to construct a brand new pure gas-fired energy plant within the state. Vectren desires the plant to exchange 4 of the utility’s retiring coal-fired models.

Indiana’s Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) on August 13 stated it accomplished a five-month authorized and technical assessment of Vectren’s request. In a information launch, the OUCC’s Bill Fine stated, “Any electrical utility that seeks to overtake its era fleet at this time should consider all attainable choices. It should additionally fastidiously look at the methods the choices would impression its clients by way of each cash and electrical reliability. In this case, Vectren has not evaluated all choices or proven that it’s continuing in essentially the most prudent method.”

Evansville-based Vectren in an announcement in response stated it feels assured “that our era plan is the best choice for our electrical clients in southwestern Indiana. The new pure fuel plant will present dependable, cleaner vitality along with native jobs in Posey County.”

Vectren in February of this 12 months introduced plans for a brand new $900 million gas-fired plant in Posey County within the state’s southwestern nook. The new plant could be constructed on the website of the present A.B. Brown Generating Station, a plant with two 265-MW coal-fired models, and two 88-MW gas-fired models. Vectren stated these 4 models could be retired in 2023.

Vectren’s plan—what the utility calls its Smart Energy Future—filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) proposed a further 50 MW of solar energy capability, together with the brand new gas-fired plant. The utility additionally would shut the 90-MW coal-fired Unit 2 (in-built 1966) at its F.B. Culley Generating Station in Warrick County, and finish its co-ownership of 150 MW of Unit four on the Warrick Generating Station, positioned downstream of Culley on the Ohio River close to Newburgh, Indiana.

The modifications would go away Vectren with only one working coal-fired unit, the 270-MW Unit three on the Culley plant, which started working in 1973. Vectren stated it will spend $95 million to put in emissions management know-how on that unit.

The strikes are aimed toward slashing Vectren’s carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2024.

At the time of February’s utility, Carl Chapman, the chairman, president, and CEO of Vectren, in an announcement stated, “The unfolding of Vectren’s Smart Energy Future plan illustrates how our firm is reworking the best way it produces and delivers energy to develop into a subsequent era vitality firm. This decade-long era portfolio transition will meet rising demand to offer cleaner vitality for our area whereas sustaining the reliability our clients deserve and have come to count on.”

The OUCC in its assertion Monday stated Vectren didn’t absolutely consider choices for extending operation of its coal models past 2023. It stated the utility ought to take a look at switching the coal-fired models at A.B. Brown to pure fuel, which it stated would price “far much less” than development of a brand new pure gas-fired plant.

The shopper company additionally stated its assessment of Vectren’s request confirmed the utility ought to discover “Refueling one A.B. Brown unit [with natural gas] and constructing a smaller pure fuel plant” on the website, what it referred to as “an alternate price exploring.” The OUCC additionally stated “Vectren’s buyer demand for electrical energy during the last 5 years has reduced in size, not bigger. In addition, Vectren at the moment has a surplus of produced electrical energy even after serving its peak load.”

Vectren serves about 145,000 clients in southwestern Indiana.

The shopper safety group stated the utility’s proposal “wouldn’t diversify Vectren’s era gasoline combine. By closing 4 coal-fired models at three totally different areas, and consolidating their energy manufacturing at a single facility, the utility would…

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