Indianapolis Power and Light plans $631 million plant in Morgan County

IPL touts efficiency of new plant

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. - Indianapolis Power and Light on Wednesday announced plans to build a $631 million power plant in Morgan County.

IPL touted the plant to be "one of the cleanest, most efficient thermal power plants ever to be built in Indiana."

The utility is planning to retire six units at the Eagle Valley Generating Station and retire or refuel four more units at the Harding Street Generating Station, representing a combined total of 18 percent of IPL's generation capacity.

"We considered all of our options during a very extensive and competitive evaluation process," IPL CEO Ken Zagzebski said in a news release. "Building a gas-powered plant is the most affordable and reliable solution for our customers and complements our generation portfolio that includes coal, gas, wind, solar and oil."

IPL said the new plant will cut environmental emissions, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 98 percent.

The utility is also planning to convert two units at the Harding Street facility from coal to natural gas.

"These replacement generation projects are a significant investment that is necessary in order to meet future electricity needs," said Zagzebski.

IPL said that if the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approves the plan, customers would see cost increases of 2 to 3 percent per year through 2018.

The new plant is planned for the Eagle Valley station, which is five miles north of Martinsville.

IPL said 25 permanent positions would be created at the new plant and that 660 people would be employed during construction.

The new plant would skew IPL's power source balance. In 2007, the utility said it got 86 percent of its fuel from coal and oil. By 2017, it expects that more than 40 percent of its portfolio would come from natural gas, wind and solar sources.

If approved, construction will begin in 2014, with completion set for 2017.

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