NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) said July 31 in its second-quarter earnings statement that its Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) subsidiary remains on track with several projects, including SO2 scrubbers on two coal-fired units.
Key execution highlights for NIPSCO include:
- On April 30, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approved its seven-year, $700m natural gas modernization program. This program, which complements the in-progress $1.1bn electric system modernization program approved in February, will address system modernization as well as system expansion in rural areas.
- Progress also continued on two major NIPSCO electric transmission projects designed to enhance region-wide system flexibility and reliability. The route has been selected for the Greentown-Reynolds project, a roughly 70-mile, 765-kV line being constructed in a joint development agreement with Pioneer Transmission. NIPSCO’s Reynolds-Topeka project, a 100-mile, 345-kV line, remains on schedule with right-of-way acquisition and permitting in process. These projects involve an investment of about $500m for NIPSCO and are anticipated to be in service by the end of 2018.
- Two remaining flue gas desulfurization (FGD) projects at NIPSCO’s coal-fired facilities remain on schedule and on budget. With projected completion dates of year-end 2014 and year-end 2015, the FGD investments are part of more than $850m in environmental investments, including water quality and emission-control projects recently completed and planned at NIPSCO’s generating facilities. A Schahfer Unit 14 FGD went into service around the end of 2013, while the Schahfer Unit 15 FGD is due on-line around the end of 2014 and the Michigan City Unit 12 FGD is due for operation around the end of 2015. Various NOx-control upgrades and other smaller emissions projects are also being done to comply with the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). NIPSCO is also evaluating water treatment and coal ash improvements for the coal plants for later this decade.
- NIPSCO also filed a plan with the IURC to continue offering its electric energy efficiency programs, including the residential energy efficiency rebate, new construction and low-income weatherization programs that are set to expire at the end of 2014.