Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. seeks proposals for alternative options to meet future electricity needs of its customers.
The company said it wants to consider a combination of potential resources for electricity.
“As the energy market and customer needs continue to evolve, it is important that we consider all options when determining a long-term plan that balances the needs of our customers and communities,” Violet Sistovaris, NIPSCO president, said in a statement. “This effort is consistent with our goal to focus on providing affordable, clean energy while maintaining flexibility for future technology and market changes.”
The need for the future electric capacity follows a company projection made in its last Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to retire 50 percent of its coal-fired electric generation by 2023. The company’s Bailly Generating Station in Porter County’s Westchester Township near Chesterton is on track to retire by the end of May.
NIPSCO is considering all sources in the RFP process in conjunction with its 2018 IRP, which will involve several months of analysis, public meetings and input from customers, consumer representatives, environmental organizations and other stakeholders.
The company said the goal of its IRP is to identify a long-term plan for continuing to provide customers with cost-effective, reliable, flexible and sustainable supplies of electricity while addressing the inherent uncertainties and risks that exist in the electric industry.
Dispatchable and semi-dispatchable generation, renewables, demand response resources and contractual arrangements will be considered, as well as emerging technologies such as storage, the company said.
NIPSCO’s current power generating capabilities includes generation from natural gas and coal, hydroelectric generation, purchased wind power, customer-owned renewable generation, demand response, energy efficiency and other purchased power.
Deadline for NIPSCO’s request for proposals is June 29.
NIPSCO has more than 821,000 natural gas customers and 468,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana.