May 13 U.S. power company AES Corp said
its units expect to retire or repower several coal-fired units
in Indiana and Ohio, and possibly build a natural gas plant
over the next several years.
AES is not alone in shutting coal plants in the United
Since 2009, U.S. power companies have announced plans to
shut or convert more than 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired plants
over the next several years as cheap natural gas and power
prices have made it uneconomic to upgrade emissions systems to
meet stricter planned federal and state environmental rules.
In Indiana, AES said its Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL)
unit filed with state regulators for a certificate to build a
550- to 725-MW combined cycle natural gas plant at its Eagle
Valley power facility, the company told shareholders in federal
filings last week.
The company said the new plant, if approved, is expected to
enter service in April 2017.
IPL also filed with state regulators to refuel the 106-MW
Units 5 and 6 of its Harding Street plant from coal to gas.
The company said the refueling project, if approved, is
expected to be complete by April 2016.
If the state does not approve of the refueling project, AES
said IPL will likely retire the units because it is not
economical to install emissions controls on those units to
comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury
and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rules.
Harding Street is a 1,102-MW oil, coal and gas-fired plant
with operating units that entered service between 1941 and 2002,
according to federal data. The plant is in Marion County, where
Indianapolis, the state capital, is located.
IPL estimated the cost of the Indiana projects as $667
In Ohio, AES said its Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) unit told
PJM, the local power grid operator, that it plans to retire the
six coal-fired units at the 390-MW Hutchings coal, gas and
oil-fired plant in Montgomery County. The six coal units have a
capacity of 365 MW.
AES said the 63-MW coal-fired Unit 4 at Hutchings is
currently out of service with damage to a turbine and will be
retired by June 2013.
DP&L plans to retire units 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 by June 2015.
DP&L said it investigated converting the Hutchings units
from coal to gas but said the cost of investment exceeded the
The Hutchings units entered service between 1948 and 1968,
according to federal data. The plant is near Miamisburg, about
12 miles (20 km) southwest of Dayton, Ohio.
AES also said DP&L owns about 207 MW of coal-fired
generation at Beckjord 6, which is operated by a unit of Duke
Energy Corp. The co-owners of Beckjord 6 have told PJM
they plan to retire the unit by June 1, 2015.
DP&L said it does not have plans to replace the units that
will be retired.