INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Power & Light said Wednesday it plans to build a $631 million natural gas turbine power plant in south-central Indiana as part of its push to meet tougher environmental regulations.
The Indianapolis-based utility said it hopes to begin construction next year of a combined-cycle gas turbine power station near Martinsville, pending regulatory approval.
IPL said the 650-megawatt plant will be one of the cleanest of its kind in Indiana and be powered by two natural gas-fired turbines and one steam turbine driven by waste heat from the gas turbines. The plant will replace six coal-fired power units near Martinsville the company plans to retire.
Company officials said the new plant would be an example of clean and efficient energy production and would lower environmental emissions by more than 98 percent compared with coal-powered plants.
"We considered all of our options during a very extensive and competitive evaluation process," IPL CEO Ken Zagzebski said in a prepared release. "Building a gas-powered plant is the most affordable and reliable solution for our customers."
Construction of the new adjacent to the Eagle Valley station about five miles north of Martinsville is set to begin in 2014 and be completed in 2017. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission must approve the project.
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