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Indianapolis Business Journal (Opinion): IURC should say no to Duke’s planned gas-fired plants

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jun 10, 2022

Indiana Business Journal published an op-ed by AEE's Sarah Steinberg, explaining why IURC should invest in clean energy resources and reject Duke Energy Indiana's gas-fired plants. Read snippets below and the full article here.

Duke Energy is one of the nation’s largest utility companies, serving roughly 9 million people across six states. So when this Fortune 150 company announced plans to accelerate its energy transition and reach an entirely clean electricity generation portfolio by 2050, it received significant publicity, including here in Indiana. After all, with Duke Energy Indiana serving over 860,000 customers, this announcement should mean two things: good local jobs developing new energy resources and lower electricity rates from affordable wind, solar, energy storage, energy efficiency and demand management solutions.

Unfortunately, Duke Energy Indiana didn’t seem to get the memo. Appearing to ignore its parent company’s vision, the local operating utility is proposing to build new, expensive natural gas-fired power plants instead of investing in clean energy resources. These power plants can last over half a century, which means that new ones built in 2027 and 2035, as Duke Energy Indiana proposes, will have to be shut down early to comply with the parent company’s pledge. That will leave Hoosiers on the hook to pay off the capital costs of plants that are then standing idle.

Instead, Duke Indiana should be investing today in reliable, affordable advanced energy resources, which will lower customer rates and benefit the local economy. The utility knows that it will eventually do this—its current resource plan and its parent company’s 2050 commitment say as much. But by building new gas plants five and 13 years from now, it is knowingly forcing customers to pay for facilities that will soon be outmoded, while Duke pockets a guaranteed profit on each new investment.

Read the full article here.

Topics: Utility, AEE In The News, Sarah Steinberg