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Turning Point 49.9 MW solar PV project in Noble County (OH) with AEP all but dead; IndianaDG looked at it ‘longingly’ January 17, 2013

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Uncategorized.
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Dear IndianaDG Readers:

There has been much speculation about whether the Turning Point solar project with American Electric Power (AEP) in Ohio would receive the “green light” from the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO). I am not an insider on this project by any means but I have been asking solar companies in Ohio about the prospects for this project with AEP for some time.

During the Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M) general rate case before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in Cause No. 44075. See https://indianadg.wordpress.com/iurc/indiana-utility-rate-cases/indiana-michigan-power-company-aep-44075/. That case is now completed and awaiting a decision by the IURC.  Inovateus Solar interevened and offered the testimony of Joseph Jancauskas urging that I&M develop and offer more renewable energy programs. In their concluding filings in this case I recall that Inovateus Solar advocated that the IURC create a “Green Energy” sub-docket to explore this.

Many of us here in Indiana following the Turning Point solar project with AEP in Ohio looked at this project longingly. Therefore, I am disappointed that the PUCO has rejected this proposed project at this point. Clearly, I plan to obtain and read the order on this matter and to try to understand what happened. In the meantime, if you have any information or a perspective on this recent action by the PUCO I would appreciate hearing it. OK? There seems to be more than just a little politics surrounding this.

Laura Ann Arnold

P.S. Please see next blog post: PUCO chief blasts ‘green’ energy on Twitter. This only gets better people.

Turning Point solar project in Noble County all but dead.

By      Dan Gearino     

The Columbus Dispatch Wednesday January 9, 2013 7:59 PM

 A plan that was to give Ohio the largest solar array east of the Rockies is now all but dead, potentially costing hundreds of jobs.
American Electric Power is saying that actions today by regulators make it difficult to see how the 49.9 megawatt project near Zanesville can ever come together.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio voted 3-1 yesterday to strip the Turning Point Solar plan from a larger report about AEP’s projected power needs. The majority wrote that AEP didn’t prove the project is needed, and left it up to AEP to provide further justification.

While the commission says it remains open to exploring ways to make Turning Point happen, AEP spokeswoman Terri Flora says the vote is a severe blow that undoes years of work.

“‘Disappointed’ is the word I would use,” she said. “This is a missed opportunity.”

The Ohio Democratic Party and environmental groups seized on the decision, calling it  a job-killer and an abandonment of clean energy.

“This ruling is a slap in the face to clean energy, new jobs, and southeast Ohio,” Brian Kaiser, director of green jobs at the Ohio Environmental Council, said in a statement.
While AEP was to be the key buyer of power from the project, the developers were several other companies.

AEP was hoping the PUCO would allow the utility to pay for electricity from the project by making all customers pay for a portion of the costs through a new charge in utility bills. Previously, the agency has said it would allow charges like this if there was a clear need and if the free market was not going to provide a similar resource. The PUCO’s staff had said the project was needed, part of a larger agreement with AEP.

The PUCO’s governing board decided to reject its staff’s advice, an action that leaves AEP with no clear method of paying for the project. Steve Lesser, the only Democrat on the panel, cast the dissenting vote.

The larger issue is Ohio’s continuing movement toward energy deregulation, which means projects like this would no longer be paid for by mandatory charges. Several business groups urged the commission to reject AEP’s plan because it would go against the idea of free markets.

If the PUCO had approved the plan, it would likely have been challenged in court, and the opponents felt good about their chances.

Turning Point, estimated at one time to cost $250 million, was announced in October 2010 with much fanfare by AEP and then-Gov. Ted Strickland in the closing weeks of a gubernatorial campaign. He said it would lead to 300 permanent manufacturing jobs and 300 construction jobs.

Isofoton, a Spanish solar-components company, chose Napoleon, Ohio, as the site for a factory partly to be near Turning Point. The plant is now open with a small number of employees, with plans to ramp up to 300. It is not clear how the PUCO action will affect those plans.

Critics suggested that Turning Point’s main purpose was to promote Strickland.

“It had all the trappings of a political stunt to begin with,” said Sam Randazzo, an attorney for Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, which has argued against the project.

The Ohio Democratic Party is blaming Gov. John Kasich, Strickland’s opponent in that election, for what has happened. Chris Redfern, the party chairman, noted that one of the project’s leading opponents is FirstEnergy, which is a key Kasich donor.

“It’s deeply disappointing that Gov. Kasich has given the appearance his administration is more interested in rewarding his campaign donors than supporting a project that would create more than 600 jobs, including many for veterans,” he said.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in response: “We respect the independence of the commission, and its decision today had nothing to do with us. The PUCO enforced the rules that the previous administration and environmentalists wrote, yet they now want to change the rules of the game because they didn’t like the outcome. Perhaps these people should simply recognize the PUCO’s independence and let them do their job.”

dgearino@dispatch.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Midwest Energy News: Indiana coal controversy prompts push for more transparency in utility planning; Impact on IRP Rule? October 14, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Duke Energy, Edwardsport IGCC Plant, Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized, Vectren.
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See this blog post for details on the upcoming IRP Contemprary Issues Technical Conference. http://wp.me/pMRZi-Td
Original article: http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2012/10/12/indiana-coal-controversy-prompts-push-for-more-transparency-in-utility-planning/Posted on 10/12/2012 by 

The Edwardsport coal-to-gas plant under construction in Indiana. Cost overruns and other controversy surrounding the project have helped drive efforts to reform Indiana’s utility planning process. (Photo via Duke Energy)

For the first time in 17 years, Indiana’s public utility commission is rewriting the state’s rule governing how utilities develop long-term plans to meet electricity demand.

The new rule could force the state’s five investor-owned utilities to face more public scrutiny in developing their plans, and perhaps move more quickly than they might otherwise toward reducing carbon emissions.

But the utilities are pushing back, saying that since they have the most skin in the game, they should have the most say over their plans.

Public comments have already been taken on the rule, known as the Integrated Resource Planning Rule, and the state’s public utility commission will issue the final rule in a few months.

Under Indiana law, utilities must obtain a permit called a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before beginning construction of a new power plant. To obtain this permit, they must show that the new power plant is needed to meet electricity demand and is the best, most affordable way to do so. They do that via an Integrated Resource Plan, which they have to file with the public utility commission, known as the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

In the past, the integrated resource plans “have been very black-box procedures,” said Bowden Quinn, conservation organizer for the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, who has led that group’s effort in pushing for a new rule.

“There was no avenue for participation,” he said. “They just filed them.”

Coal-to-gas plant controversy

IURC began updating the rule in large part because of the perception that they let too much slide on the controversial Edwardsport coal gasification project, which ran significantly over budget and spawned a huge scandal involving cozy relations between Duke Energy and the IURC, said Mike Mullett, an attorney from Columbus, Indiana, who represents the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, other environmental groups and the consumer advocacy group Citizens Action Coalition before the IURC.

In that case, the commission issued Duke Energy the certificate of public necessity and convenience, but later, Duke asked for almost $1 billion more than the $1.985 billion they’d originally been approved for, spawning legal action and additional IURC hearings.

“This update is in many respects a response to Edwardsport,” Mullett said.

In particular, the commission sought to push utilities to better estimate financial risk and uncertainty on projects like Edwardsport that embrace new technology. The Edwardsport plant is designed to produce coal gas, and it’s one of two coal gasification plants in the United States that are currently under construction.

The proposed IRP rule raises the bar for utilities in several ways, Mullett said.

The first is increased transparency. At least two public meetings would be required any time an investor-owned utility develops an integrated resource plan (IRP), and more if the public expresses a strong interest. And a new provision called a compliance determination allows the commission to force utilities to redo the planning process if those meetings didn’t happen.

Utilities also “have to have a demand forecast that meets certain best practices,” Mullett said. That plan needs to include a variety of scenarios, including energy efficiency programs, Mullett said. And in a significant departure from the old rule, the IURC must determine whether utilities are actually in compliance with the rule, then issue a ruling saying that they are.

Utilities have objections

The state’s utilities have no problem with more transparency, said Ed Simcox, president of the Indiana Energy Association. “For the company to unveil in an IRP process what their long-range plans are is not objectionable,” he said.

But Indiana’s five investor-owned utilities do object to provisions allowing the state’s regulators to verify whether they’re complying with the new rule. In proposed edits of the rule submitted to the utility regulatory commission the trade group representing the state’s five investor-owned utilities, the Indiana Energy Association, struck that provision entirely. The IEA represents Duke Energy, Vectren, Indiana Power & Light, Indiana Michigan Power, and Nipsco.

They also have problems with another part of the rule that requires them to meet with environmental and ratepayer groups as the plan is being developed, rather than being presented with it after the fact. That gives those groups more input and perhaps influence on utilities’ long-term planning decisions, said Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Such input matters, Kharbanda said, because it will allow advocates to “make sure utilities are properly modeling for prospective carbon rules, changes in renewable energy, capacity and operating costs, and things like combined heat and power.”

But the utilities are “very uneasy because it’s not them having unfettered discretion,” Mullett said. The current director of IURC’s electricity division, who reviews the utility filings, is someone who “asks hard questions and cares about the answers,”  he explained.It’s possible that hard questions from the IURC about whether the utilities are complying with the rule could delay approval of an IRP, which could delay approval of a power plant a utility wants to build. “That could delay a power plant, which could delay them from getting access to the money machine” that electricity ratepayers provide, Mullett maintained.

Simcox says the utilities are not necessarily opposed to more public input while they’re developing IRPs. But, he said, “the devil’s in the details.”

“To advise the public what companies are doing in terms of long-range planning is not an objection. The fine line is this: The companies are the entities that are responsible for producing and delivering power. The buck stops with them. You can’t have outside parties dictate to them what they’re going to do and how and when they’re going to do it.”

Winchester Council proceeds with plan to build wind turbine October 8, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Uncategorized.
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Dear IndianaDG Readers:

When I read this newspaper article, I thought it was too good to be true. The article seems to say that Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) which is an operating subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP) has agreed to a feed-in tariff (FIT) contract with the City of Winchester, Indiana. Unbelievable, I thought. WOW!

I wanted to know more so I contacted Performance Services Business Development Manager Tony Kuykendall this morning. First of all, I need to say that the Winchester has not awarded the bid yet for this wind turbine project. Second, according to Tony Winchester is still negotiating with I&M on the proposed contract to sell the electricity from the wind turbine to I&M. So any details concerning the length or terms and conditions of the proposed contract are premature.

As Paul Harvey used to say and here is “the rest of the story”. 🙂

Laura Ann Arnold

Original story: http://www.winchesternewsgazette.com/articles/2012/10/03/news/doc506b5099e526a397167930.txt

By BILL RICHMOND City editor

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 4:40 PM EDT

Winchester City Council Monday opened bids to construct an electricity-generating wind turbine at Vision Industrial Park and approved the third and final reading of an ordinance permitting the lease of Vision Park property by the Winchester Redevelopment Authority until the bonds are paid off.

The project’s goals are to reduce the city’s operating costs and to create a new revenue source for the city. The project calls for installation of a 850 kW Gamesa turbine. The 3-blade turbine will be 306 feet high with the blades extended.

Performance Services Business Development Manager Tony Kuykendall at council’s Sept. 17 meeting said the revenue stream from the turbine will pay for the bond obligation without any tax dollars being used. The city has a feed-in tariff agreement with Indiana Michigan Power (AEP) that establishes a specific rate the utility will pay for renewable power that is guaranteed for 20 years with a 2.5 percent annual escalation. The turbine will deliver power to the Indiana-Michigan distribution system and the city will be paid revenues according to the feed-in tariff.

WNDU: Hydroelectric turbine saving South Bend on electric costs; More hydroelectric potential for South Bend September 11, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Net Metering, Uncategorized.
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Click this link for video from WNDU Channel 16 > Hydroelectric turbine saving South Bend on electric costs.

Reporter: Frank WaughEmail; Aug. 22, 2012

Better late than never, a hydroelectric turbine purchased in the early 80’s, was finally installed in Downtown South Bend. Now this new installation will soon be saving money for the city.

After sitting since 1983, in a warehouse, this bright blue turbine has found it’s home.

“We took it out of storage in early 2011, refurbished the unit,” says Jon Burke the Municipal Energy Director “It is exciting to stand here now and know that, the turbine is down in this pin stock right now and it is going to be working for the city very soon.”

The turbine was installed along the fish ladder in Seitz Park, while it is in place there is still a good deal of work that must be done.

“There are a lot of little bugs we need to work out,” says Burke. “We will start up the commissioning system over the next two to three weeks and provided we don’t run into anymore unknowns we have had plenty of those so far.”

While some of the bugs have slowed the project, some have actually been a good thing.

“Originally the paper work on the turbine called it a 45 kilowatt unit,” explains Burke. “When we took the turbine in to have it refurbished we discovered it was a 62.9 kilowatt unit, which is significantly more power. That lead us to have to redesign a number of things with our distribution network and our arrangement with I&M we had to upgrade the capacity of this unit.”

That power will be put to good use in Howard Park, powering the Human Rights Building, the ice rink, the rec center and even the lights along the East Race and there will still be some left over.

“We are going to produce about 100,000 kilowatt hours a year more than we are going to need,” says Burke. “We are doing what is called a net-metering agreement with Indiana Michigan Power. And the net-metering agreement allows us to put energy directly into the grid or use it in our facility either way. At times when we are producing more energy than we need that extra energy will go into the grid and we will be credited for that energy. At times when we are using more energy than we are actually producing, we will be drawing down the credits in the grid.”

That agreement will allow the city to use every drop of energy and stack up some serious savings.

“That is worth about $40,000 a year to the city,” explains Burke.

So you might be wondering what this cost the city. Total installation costs were around $268,000. A federal grant covered all but $26,000; a cost that John says will be recouped in six to seven months from the use of the turbine.

More hydroelectric potential for South Bend < Click this link to view another WNDU video.

Reporter: Frank WaughEmail; Sept. 7, 2012

A hydroelectric turbine purchased in the 1980s has finally been installed in Setiz Park and will soon be cranking out energy savings of around $40,000 a year for the city. That might just be the tip of the iceberg for hydroelectric power in South Bend.

“South Bend has a rich history of hydropower,” says Jon Burke the Municipal Energy Director. “The early industry along the East Race was powered along the East Race with hydropower and it has been a long time since we have actually utilized hydropower along the river here in South Bend. So this is step one in the process to get the small turbine in.”

Step two is a little larger and like the original turbine it was started back in the early 80s.

“Around the same time the Fish Ladder was built the city had the foresight to secure and exemption from the federal energy regulatory commission that allows the city to build a 1.7 megawatt unit, right here along the Seitz Park area,” explains Burke.

That is about 27 times larger than the recently installed unit, and the means a lot more power.

“That is a utility scale hydro installation and that will produce enough power potential to power the cities 10 largest buildings,” says Burke. “It is worth about a million dollars a year to the city in energy costs. So my hope is that this being step one that we can find a way as a city to move to step two and build this larger facility.”

“I see great potential in expanding on this great experiment,” says Mayor Pete Butigieg. “We have this turbine here. It is enough to power a few buildings, a no brainer for the city. Taking it to the next level could mean a million dollars a year and good clean energy. We have got this great river, there just aren’t a lot of cities that have a river running through the middle of them and have this opportunity with the regulatory exemptions, so we have to pull together some money before we can make it happen but if we get it right we are going to make that money back for the city and I am very excited about the potential to do it.”

As for the price tag of making it power multiple buildings.

“It is going to take some creativity,” says Burke. “It is in the neighborhood of a $15 million project, so we have to be creative to figure out a business model that works. But it is something that I really feel that we have to do.”

“Once we have the funding together it takes two to three years to actually make it happen,” says Mayor Butigieg. “There are a lot of bits and pieces when you get into utilities, it gets unbelievably complicated. So we have got to make sure we can do it right. There is a feasibility study going on right now, funds were committed to that. That is helping us charge away forward. I tell yeah, it can’t come soon enough, based on what we are already seeing with this small hydro project.”

Original plans for the project place the facility over Setiz Park. Burke says they would remove the park, and then rebuild the park on top of the turbines. While a majority of the facility would be underground, the original plans did call for a walkway that would allow the public to view the turbines on one side and the Fish Ladder on the other side.

Watch Indiana Michigan Power Rate Increase Hearings at IURC June 18-29 June 19, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC).
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Evidentiary hearings presenting information by the Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and Intervenors as well as rebuttal testimony by Indiana Michigan Power in their rate increase case before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in Cause No. 44075 started yesterday (6/18/2012) and will continue each day at 9:30 am through June 29.

Testimony in this rate case was prefiled by the OUCC, the cities of South Bend and Fort Wayne, Inovateus Solar and others.

Those wishing to watch the hearings on-line should visit http://www.in.gov/iurc/2624.htm

Testimony was prefiled and can be found by visiting https://myweb.in.gov/IURC/eds/, then <Search Cases> and then entering the Docket Number 44075. Please note that the prefiled testimony is quite voluminous.

ENJOY!

Public Field Hearings Announced for Indiana Michigan Power Rate Increase (Cause No. 44075) March 7, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized.
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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) filed Docket Entries yesterday (3/6/2012) setting the three public field hearings in the Indiana Michigan Power (an operating subsidiary of American Electric Power or AEP) rate case in Cause No. 44075 as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2012 starting at 6:00 pm in the Grand Wayne Center, 120 S. Jefferson Blvd., Ft. Wayne, IN 46802
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2012 starting at 6:00 pm in the South Bend Century Center, 120 S. St. Joseph Street, South Bend, IN 46601
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2012 starting at 6:00 pm in the Muncie City Hall Auditorium, 300 N. High Street, Muncie, IN 47305

All the public field hearings are open to the public.

If an accomodation is required to allow an individual with a disability to participate, please contact the Office of the Executive Secretary of the IURC at (317) 232-2701 or TDD (317) 232-8556 at least 48 hours in advance.

For more information about this I&M rate case please see http://wp.me/pMRZi-Cq and http://wp.me/PMRZi-yB.

IURC Hearing on Indiana Michigan Power Rate Case Starts Today –Feb. 20 at 9:30 am EST; Watch On-line February 20, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC).
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FYI: The IURC streaming video is down right now but they are trying to fix it. Check back periodicially to see if the problem is fixed so that you can watch on-line. Laura Ann Arnold

Hearing Set For I&M Rate Case

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor’s first evidentiary hearing in the Indiana Michigan Power rate case begins Monday. I&M’s requested increase would raise some customers’ monthly bills by approximately 25 percent. The utility serves more than 450,000 Indiana customers.

To watch on-line, go to http://www.in.gov/iurc/2624.htm Hearing is scheduled to start today at 9:30 am and continue for the next two weeks if needed.

February 17, 2012

News Release

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and other consumer parties will start cross examining Indiana Michigan Power Company’s (I&M’s) rate case witnesses on Monday, February 20.

Twenty-two I&M witnesses have filed testimony in the utility’s pending base rate case before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). The IURC’s first evidentiary hearing in the rate case starts Monday in Indianapolis and is expected to last several days.

“The evidentiary hearing is a critical step in this case as the OUCC continues to question I&M on its request and develop recommendations,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. “While this hearing will focus on attorney cross-examination and Commission questioning of I&M’s technical witnesses, I urge I&M customers to make the most of the opportunities they have to make their voices heard.”

I&M’s requested base rate increase, according to its testimony and exhibits, would raise the monthly bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) by 25.38 percent.

The rate case (IURC Cause No. 44075) is one of several I&M cases that may have a significant, cumulative impact on I&M customer bills. Separately from the rate case:

  •  I&M is seeking rate recovery for new pollution control equipment at its Rockport Generating Facility (in IURC Cause No. 44033). The utility’s testimony in that case does not specify how the $1.4 billion Rockport project would affect Indiana customer bills, with I&M scheduled to file additional testimony in late April.
  • I&M is also expected to request IURC approval of a Life Cycle Management project for its D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant this year. In its rate case testimony, I&M estimates the Cook project costs at “less than $2 billion.”

I&M customers may comment in the rate case in either or both of two ways:

1. By attending and speaking at one of the IURC’s public field hearings. These will be held in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Muncie on upcoming dates to be determined.

2. By sending written comments to the OUCC. Comments the OUCC receives by April 20, 2012 will be filed with the IURC, to be included in the case’s formal evidentiary record.

The OUCC invites consumer comments through the agency’s Website at http://www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, and by mail, email, or fax:

• Mail: Consumer Services Staff; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor; 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South; Indianapolis, IN 46204

• email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov

• Fax: (317) 232-5923

Written comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44075.”

“Whether consumers wish to write to us, attend a field hearing, or both, we want to hear from them,” said Stippler. “While the OUCC’s attorneys and technical experts are examining I&M’s rate case very closely, consumer input is extremely important to this process.”

The OUCC is scheduled to complete its technical and legal review of I&M’s request and file testimony on April 27, 2012.

Other parties that have intervened in this case (including the cities of South Bend and Fort Wayne, a number of I&M’s industrial customers, and the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana) are also scheduled to file testimony on April 27. Witnesses for the OUCC and other consumer parties will face cross-examination and Commission questioning at an evidentiary hearing to be held in June.

For more information on the base rate case and other I&M cases, please visit the OUCC’s Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2680.htm.

I&M, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), provides service to approximately 458,000 customers in 24 Indiana counties.

(IURC Cause No. 44075)

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC

Source: Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

City of South Bend to test high energy efficiency street lights with grant from Wells Fargo January 25, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Uncategorized.
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South Bend to test high-efficiency street lights

Grant paying for pilot program.

By KEVIN ALLEN

South Bend Tribune

5:29 PM EST, January 19, 2012

SOUTH BEND — The city is testing an idea that could lighten its electric bills.

Thanks to an $18,750 grant from Wells Fargo, city officials are going to see if a new technology can cut the amount of power needed to light South Bend’s streets.

Jon Burke, the city’s municipal energy director, said Thursday that the city will use about two-thirds of that money to install induction lights in some areas of down-town. The other third will be spent on urban-agriculture programs in the city.

Burke said induction lighting consumes about half the energy of conventional lighting.

He said the pilot project could grow into a larger partnership with Indiana Michigan Power to replace about 13,000 street lights throughout South Bend. The city pays about $85,000 a month to light city streets.

“If we can deploy this kind of technology,” Burke said, “in the long term, once the capital investment is paid off, we could potentially save a very large portion of that $85,000 per month.”

Induction lights also re-quire less maintenance, Burke said, because they have a longer life than conventional and LED lights.

The lighting project is part of an effort to devise a larger strategic energy plan for the city. Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that plan will be rolled out later this year.

Burke said the goal for the urban-agriculture portion of the grant is to support a gardening group in each quadrant of the city.

Staff writer Kevin Allen:
kallen@sbtinfo.com
574-235-6244

Procedural schedule established for I&M rate case in Cause 44075 October 25, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized.
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Dear Blog Readers:

To make it easier to follow the recent rate increase request filed by Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), I have created a new page on the blog. For details on the procedural schedule established last week at the prehearing conference, please visit:

https://indianadg.wordpress.com/iurc/indiana-utility-rate-cases/indiana-michigan-power-company-aep-44075/

Why go anywhere else when what you need to know about renewable energy and distributed generation in Indiana is right here.

Laura Ann Arnold

Indiana Michigan Power Rate Case IURC Prehearing Conference 11/20/2011 October 20, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC).
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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP)  filed a petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on 9/23/2011 requesting a $178 million (net $149 million) rate increase request under the Commission’s Minimum Standard Filing  Requirements (MSFR) See 170 IAC 1-5-2(c) for details on MSFR.

The IURC has scheduled a prehearing conference in Cause No. 44075 this afternoon to address procedural issues such as filing deadlines and hopefully will rule on whether or not I&M can proceed under MSFR which would allow an expedited schedule within about 10 months from the date of their request to a final order from the IURC.

Parties of interest which have interevened thus far include: Inovateus Solar of South Bend and Ecos Energy. Also intervening are the City of Ft. Wayne, the City of South Bend and the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC). The Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is also a party to this proceeding as required by Indiana state law.

Watch this blog for the outcome of the prehearing conference and other details as this case unfolds.

Download I&M’s petition HERE: 44075 I&M Petition_23Sept2011