NIPSCO’s Michigan City Generating Station celebrates Family Day and 50th anniversary of Unit 12 facility at joint event

NIPSCO’s Michigan City Generating Station celebrates Family Day and 50th anniversary of Unit 12 facility at joint event

On June 1, current and former employees of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) and their families braved the rain as they gathered outside NIPSCO’s Michigan City Generating Station (MCGS) for a very special celebration. Not only was this event MCGS' Family Day celebration, but it was also the 50th-anniversary party of the station’s Unit 12 facility, a steam-generating cyclone coal-fired boiler that has been in operation since 1974. NIPSCO, which celebrates its 112th anniversary this year, ranks as the largest natural gas distributor and second-largest electric distributor in Indiana. Kurt Sangster, vice president of electric generation at NIPSCO, believes that this event is an excellent community-building event.  

NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024

NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024 52 Photos
NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024NIPSCO 50th Anniversary Party 2024

“This is an important event for us because it gives us a chance to show others what we’re doing and to feel proud of it,” Sangster said. “My family is here with me today and giving them some insight into my work makes me feel proud. If a person can feel proud about the work we do, they’ll be a lot more focused as they work and they’ll be safer while doing it. That kind of mentality can then spread to their coworkers. This event gives us the opportunity to interact with our coworkers and our families and ultimately learn how we fit into the communities that we supply with energy.” 

The fun family-oriented activities available at the event included a raffle, bounce houses, coloring stations, bozo buckets – which used stuffed squirrel toys instead of balls and hard hats instead of buckets – and a tour of Unit 12. Three firemen from the Michigan City Fire Department brought a fire truck along with Jimbooo’s Italian Beef providing delicious barbecue and a variety of other foods for lunch. Day Dreams & Ice Cream kept the attendees supplied with plenty of frozen treats. Jeff Elzinga, NIPSCO electrical specialist, was pleased to share some of the facility’s features while serving as the guide for the cooling tower bus tour. 

“I've been working with NIPSCO for a long time and we work hard every day to keep things running,” Elzinga said. “Getting to talk about our facility today means a lot to me. It can be hard for a community member to understand what we do here until they've had the chance to actually walk through the facility and see it for themselves. It’s great when members of the community are interested in what NIPSCO does, so we want to give them a chance to come in today and see what's going on here. Hopefully, they’ll see something they never have before and learn something new. We appreciate everyone coming out today and we hope that they have a nice time.”

During the tour, attendees rode a chartered tour bus across the facility grounds while Elzinga shared information about the MCGS facility’s history and features. The tour bus carried attendees to the base of the facility’s 361-foot-tall, 354-foot-wide cooling tower where they could take pictures of the tower and the massive coal-handling bulldozers sitting at its base. As the bus returned to the event area, Elzinga pointed out more of the facility’s features, which included transformers, substations, and coal lifts. Sangster views the day’s event as an opportunity for fellowship and fruitful networking.

“The work that we do is about people and this event is a reflection of that,” Sangster said. “Our facility’s equipment is what it is, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that it’s the people who work here who really stand out. I saw somebody at today’s event who retired 17 years ago. It's amazing to reunite with people who have retired, reminisce, swap stories, and share what we’re doing today with them. Their stories and experiences can be integrated into our current work.”

Refusing to let the rain dampen their spirits, the attendees continued to enjoy the celebration, with coworkers chatting amiably amongst themselves and children enjoying the wide array of activities.

To learn more about NIPSCO and the various energy services it offers residents of Northern Indiana, please visit