MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) — Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) released its plans to transition to lower-cost renewable energy sources.
It's part of the company's plan to save its customers 4 billion dollars.
A spokesman for NIPSCO says it's all about saving money.
"The true cost savings come in when you eliminate the fuel source," said Nick Meyer.
NIPSCO is replacing coal as its fuel source with one the fastest growing forms of renewable energy. It's using wind.
The company is in the preliminary stages of adding three new wind farms.
"This plan allows us to transition to a more affordable and sustainable energy future for our customers," said Meyer.
NIPSCO customers and residents of Indiana will be able to see more than 290 windmills with more than 800 mega watts of electricity generating power by the end of 2020.
The three wind farms will be built in Montgomery, White, Benton and Warren counties, but why were these counties chosen?
"It's important that you've got that spread out so that if there are any weather issues, infrastructure issues, or reliability issues that you've got area to draw that power from," said Meyer.
From NIPSCO's stand point, this decision was to help its customers.
"We look at this as being an economic decision," said Meyer. "It really comes down to two things. Is it reliable? Are the lights going to be on when I need it and is it as low cost as it could be?"
Roughly 500,000 customers that NIPSCO serves will see long term savings. The savings will be calculated once NIPSCO retires its coal-fired generators.
"It would really put Indiana on the map from a national stand point as being among the leaders across the country in producing renewable energy."
NIPSCO is ridding of the Michigan City coal-fired generator by 2028 and generator at the Schahfer plant near Wheatfield by the end of 2023.
These are the three locations as worded in a press release from NIPSCO
Jordan Creek – The 400 MW wind project, to be developed and constructed by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will be located in Benton and Warren counties, near Williamsport, Ind. The project will include an estimated 160 wind turbines. NIPSCO will purchase the power directly from Jordan Creek, who will operate and maintain the facilities.
Roaming Bison – The 300 MW wind project, to be developed and constructed by Apex Clean Energy will be located in Montgomery County, near Waynetown, Ind. The project will include an estimated 107 turbines. NIPSCO will purchase the power directly from Roaming Bison, who will operate and maintain the facilities.
Rosewater – The 102 MW wind project, to be developed and constructed by EDP Renewables North America LLC will be located in White County, Ind. The project will include an estimated 25 turbines. EDP Renewables, who will construct the wind farm, and NIPSCO
entered into a joint venture and ownership agreement for the Rosewater project.