When Vectren CEO announced the company’s plan to move into more energy efficient power generation he called it “the biggest project the company has ever taken on.”
The proposed project would mostly end the company’s reliance on coal. The plan calls for a new 865 megawatt natural gas plant that would sit on Vectren’s current A.B. Brown site. That plant and a 50 megawatt solar field would make up for 4 out of 5 coal fired plants the company currently uses. With those four retired the company would also retrofit the fifth plant in Warrick County.
Before any of those changes can go into effect Vectren needs approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Vectren has already given testimony and exhibits to the IURC and on Wednesday night it was the public’s time to testify.
Those who wished to speak at a public feedback forum were sworn in just like a normal court case. Their testimony will be used down the line as the IURC forms their final decisions about the projects.
The committee was hearing feedback about the big natural gas plant the retrofitting of the Warrick County coal plant and some rate increases that may come along with the project. The solar project is a different case.
There were plenty of environmentalists on hand, giving testimony that this plant doesn’t go far enough to be energy efficient. They want even more renewables to power the Vectren’s 145,000 customers.
Interestingly enough, the other folks testifying against this project were those with coal in mind. Those folks also want the project to fail so the coal fired plants can stay open.
Those with business interests directly related to the project we’re the ones speaking for the project. A man saying he represents the local builders guild was for the project because he wants his construction workers to help construct the new plant.
There were no final decisions made tonight. There is still a chance to have your voice heard in the matter. If you’re a Vectren rate payer and want to submit testimony it can still be done until August 3rd. It can be done online at www.IN.gov/OUCC by clicking the “Contact Us” link. You can send in your comments by email at uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov. It can also be done by fax at (317) 232-5923.
If regular mail is your thing comments can be sent by mail to:
Indiana office of Utility Consumer Counselor
Consumer Services Staff
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204