New owner of Indiana coal plant seeks market authority from FERC

Crawfordsville Energy LLC on Dec. 15 requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designate it as a Category 1 Seller in all regions and grant it authorization to make wholesale sales of electric capacity, energy and ancillary services at market-based rates from a to-be revived power plant in Indiana.

Crawfordsville owns a 24.1-MW coal-fired plant and associated interconnection facilities located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in the retail service territory of Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power (CELP), a municipal utility. CELP operated the plant until Dec. 31, 2013, when it sold the plant to Sterling Energy Group. Under the acquisition agreement with CELP, Crawfordsville remains interconnected to, and maintains the ability to make sales into, the Midcontinent ISO grid through transformers owned by CELP. Sterling has operated the plant intermittently since then, selling test power to the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA), but the plant has not operated since Aug. 1, 2014.

Sterling plans to make the plant a combined heat and power (CHP) facility through the use of clean coal technologies on one of the plant’s two existing coal units as well as adding combined cycle gas-fired capacity and the addition of a steam loop.

Sterling is a privately-owned energy company with limited operations in power generation and oil and gas production and transmission. Sterling is primarily owned by two individuals, William J. Harrington, who owns 37.4 percent of the company, and Fred L. Solomon, who owns 24.9 percent. The remaining approximately 130 shareholders individually each own less than 5 percent of the company. 

In addition to owning Crawfordsville, Sterling is the sole direct owner of Niagara Generation LLC. Sterling acquired Niagara, which owns a 51-MW coal- and biomass-fired generating plant in Niagara Falls, New York, from USRG Biomass LLC in August 2013. Niagara sells power into the New York ISO market under market-based rate authority originally granted to a predecessor entity, WPS Niagara Generation LLC, by the commission in 2002. Sterling is planning to convey Niagara’s assets to a new subsidiary, NiGen LLC, in order to facilitate refinancing of the assets.

A company contact is: William J. Harrington, President & CEO, Sterling Energy Group LLC, 532 Connecticut St., Gary, IN 46402, Tel: (219) 886-0661,

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.