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IndplsStar: Opponents emerge for IPL’s $500M pollution control plan; Urge IPL to invest in renewable energy January 25, 2013

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized.
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Dear IndianaDG Readers:
Let’s give a big “shout-out” to Indianapolis City-County At-large Council Member Zach Adamson for testifying at this IURC public field hearing last night in Cause No. 44242. Please note that Indiana State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) attended this hearing last night which was attended by 4 of the 5 members of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) including Chairman Jim Atterholt.
I also testified last night urging that IPL’s Rate REP or feed-in tariff which is scheduled to expire March 30, 2013 be extended and expanded. I suggested that there was a lost opportunity for worthwhile renewable energy projects in the IPL Rate REP Queue that are not likely to be able to participate in the program. Specifically, I mentioned 15 different proposed projects representing 1.5 MWs of solar PV projects that are a part of the Indy Solar Initiative. For details see Indy Solar Initiative10_02_Englewood CDC and East Washington Street Partnership. I also mentioned additional proposed projects not slated to be done under the IPL Rate REP unless it is extended and expanded including St. Luke’s Methodist Church, University High School and the Jewish Community Center (JCC). It is difficult to understand what additional projects have been proposed for the IPL Rate REP since the list does identify them except by the date their application was filed a code name with a letter representing the applicant and a number.
I plan to revise and edit my oral comments. Please let me know if you are interested in receiving a written copy.
More on this case as it unfolds. Watch this blog for updates!
Laura Ann Arnold

Sierra Club rally against Indianapolis Power & Lig...

Sierra Club rally against Indianapolis Power & Light rate increase: The Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition and City-County Councilman Zach Adamson rally against IPL’s request for a rate increase to pay for $500 million in upgrades to two of its coal-fired plants.

   Written by Tony Cook, Jan 24, 2013   |4Comments

Consumer and environmental advocates rallied before an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission public hearing on Indianapolis Power and Light's plan to spend more than $500 million on environmental controls at two coal-fired power plants at the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Speaking at center is Sierra Club's Megan Anderson, Indiana Beyond Coal Campaign conservation organizer.

Consumer and environmental advocates rallied before an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission public hearing on Indianapolis Power and Light’s plan to spend more than $500 million on environmental controls at two coal-fired power plants at the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Speaking at center is Sierra Club’s Megan Anderson, Indiana Beyond Coal Campaign conservation organizer.  /  Charlie Nye / The Star

Sierra Club rally against Indianapolis Power & Light rate increase

The Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition and City-County Councilman Zach Adamson rally against IPL’s request for a rate increase to pay for $500 million in upgrades to two of its coal-fired plants.

This is a must see video of remarks made prior to the IURC public field hearing.

View Video HERE http://www.indystar.com/videonetwork/2117556920001/Sierra-Club-rally-against-Indianapolis-Power-Light-rate-increase

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Written by Tony Cook

Indianapolis Power & Light Co.’s plan to spend more than $500 million on environmental controls at two old coal-fired power plants is stirring opposition.

Consumer and environmental advocates — including an Indianapolis city-county councilman — argue that electric customers shouldn’t have to pay higher rates to extend the life of outdated and dirty coal plants.
“If we’re going to have a rate increase, it would be better to invest in a plant that isn’t going to poison our air and contaminate our soil with mercury,” said Democrat Zach Adamson, a councilman at large.
He and about 70 representatives from the Sierra Club and Citizens Action Coalition — wearing green “Nightmare on Harding Street” T-shirts — held a protest Thursday before an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission  public hearing on the topic at the Indiana History Center.
IPL plans to spend $511 million on environmental upgrades to its Petersburg and Harding Street coal-fired plants. Individual generating units at those plants are 27 to 46 years old, according to IPL. Company officials say the upgrades would cut mercury emissions 80 percent and are necessary because of new mercury and air toxic standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To pay for the improvements, IPL wants to raise rates. Customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would see their monthly bills rise $1.13 by 2014. The monthly increase would rise to $8.92 in 2017.
“Putting half a billion dollars into an outdated coal plant to keep it polluting the city for years to come is a waste of money,” said Megan Anderson, a conservation organizer with the Sierra Club.
Instead, opponents want IPL to invest in clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.
Brad Riley, an IPL spokesman, said those alternatives wouldn’t be cost-effective and would end up costing ratepayers much more.
He also said IPL, which provides electricity to 470,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Indianapolis area, ranks eighth in the country for its use of wind-generated energy and seventh in the central part of the country for its use of solar power.
“We’ve got a great diversity in our portfolio,” he said.
But critics say that’s not good enough. They point out that the Indianapolis metropolitan area ranks 14th in the nation for year-round particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association.
“This is just a Band-Aid that’s going to cost over $500 million,” said Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition.

His group and other organizations representing consumer and environmental interests have until Monday to file testimony with the IURC.

Call Star reporter Tony Cook at (317) 444-6081 and follow him at twitter.com/indystartony.