Programs seek to expand solar, wind and bio-mass generation projects
Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) filed a request today with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) that, if approved, would expand the company’s ability to acquire or purchase electricity created by its customers’ renewable energy projects.
“NIPSCO filed these proposed changes with the Commission to promote further renewable generation opportunities in northern Indiana and respond to our customers’ interest in such projects to power their homes and businesses,” said Jimmy Staton, NIPSCO Chief Executive Officer. “It is our goal that the expansion of these programs will result in sustainable renewable electricity generation available to all NIPSCO customers in the coming years. This result is good for the environment, our customers and for the state of Indiana.”
The proposal, which is consistent with Indiana’s Hoosier Homegrown Energy Plan, seeks to expand NIPSCO’s current Net Metering program to include all customers with solar, wind and hydro generation sources up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of nameplate capacity.
Once approved, the request also would create a pilot program known as NIPSCO’s Renewable Feed-In electric rate, which will allow customers to connect solar, wind or bio-mass generation sources, up to 5 megawatts (MW) in nameplate capacity, to the NIPSCO power grid and sell the power to NIPSCO. Power purchase agreement rates for these projects are based upon the generation technology and, in the case of wind, on the capacity size of the project.
The overall program cap of the Feed-In electric rate program is proposed at 30 megawatts (MW) total, or approximately 1 percent of NIPSCO’s projected summer peak demand for 2010 of about 3,000 MW. The overall program cap of the Net Metering program is proposed to expand to 6 MW, or approximately 0.2 percent of NIPSCO’s 2010 projected peak summer demand.
If the program caps were reached, the total renewable generation produced annually would be enough electricity to power more than 10,000 average Indiana homes for a year.
The pilot Feed-In electrical rate program is proposed to last approximately three years, or through the end of 2013.
NIPSCO expects a Commission ruling on this request in the coming months.
For more information on these program changes, please visit www.nipsco.com.
NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the 10 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). With over 712,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in seven states. More information about NIPSCO is available at www.nipsco.com.