CenterPoint Energy gets approval for new natural gas turbines in Posey Co.

CenterPoint Energy gets approval for new natural gas turbines in Posey Co.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Tuesday, officials with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission announced they approved CenterPoint Energy’s plan to build two natural gas combustion turbines in Posey County, but not everyone is happy about the news.

“Those turbines will be a part of our long-term electric generation transition plan which will be led by renewables,” said Centerpoint Communications Manager Alyssia Oshodi.

[IURC approves CenterPoint’s request to build gas turbines in Posey Co.]

CenterPoint Energy officials say eventually they want their focus to be on renewables like solar, or maybe wind. The turbines would step in when the renewables can’t meet demand.

“In times where renewables might not be at peak generating levels, we’ve got those combustion turbines to supply backup,” said Oshodi.

Citizens Action Coalition, a consumer advocacy group, isn’t convinced. In a press release, they condemned the plan, expressing their frustration about building two new fossil fuel turbines that may not be used all the time. They are also upset about the cost, saying the $334 million price tag will translate into an additional $24 per month to customers.

Centerpoint says the project won’t affect bills until 2024, after they’ve taken a rate adjustment through the proper channels. They say the $24-a-month estimate came from analysis as part of their proposal, but the real impact will incorporate cost-saving measures.

“We expect that total bill impact for the generation transition plan for the average residential customer will be less than $10 a month,” said Oshodi.

CenterPoint Energy says the approval process isn’t quite done, and they’re waiting on approval on the pipeline needed for the turbines. If all goes according to plan, they say construction should be completed by the end of 2025.

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