NIPSCO today announced plans to begin a 24-month process to demolish its out-of-service Dean H. Mitchell Electric Generating Station, located along Lake Michigan in Gary, Ind.
NIPSCO will be working with the city of Gary and other local stakeholders to consider future development opportunities for the D.H. Mitchell site with a focus on creating investment, jobs and a tax base for the region.
“This is a positive step forward for the community, our customers and the environment as we clear the path for new investments and opportunities for the future,” said NIPSCO Executive Vice President Violet Sistovaris. “While the energy industry is in the midst of change, we remain focused on continuing to serve the needs of our customers in a way that is cost-effective, reliable and sustainable.”
The estimated $18 million project will include environmental removal and remediation work associated with the site for future development.
Labor will be sourced largely from the local trades, with an expected 60 remediation and demolition jobs required during the early stages of the project.
Originally constructed in 1955, the coal-fired power plant served customers for nearly 50 years before it was taken off-line in December 2001. The facility was utilized periodically after that time but was later permanently decommissioned due to the station’s age, extensive capital investments required to ensure future reliability, and upgrades needed in order to comply with federal environmental regulations, among other factors.
Today, NIPSCO supplies a more diverse source of electric generating options, including three coal-fired stations, one natural gas-fired station, two hydroelectric stations and purchased wind power.
NIPSCO also provides the ability for its customers to generate electricity from renewable energy such as rooftop solar and wind power. And customers are encouraged to be more energy efficient through a range of energy-savings programs offered by NIPSCO.
The company regularly evaluates its electric generating mix on an ongoing basis, and more formally through its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP is submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission every two years, with input from the public, and it charts NIPSCO’s strategy for supplying power to its customers over the next 20 years.