Crawfordsville Energy seeks market authority for Indiana coal plant

Crawfordsville Energy LLC, which owns a 24.1 MW coal-fired plant located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, filed on Feb. 6 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an amended application for market-based rate authority that makes some technical changes suggested by FERC staff.

The plant is located in the retail service territory of Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power (CELP), a municipal utility. It was built by CELP as a single-unit, 11-MW plant with a diesel generator for black-start capability in 1938, and upgraded with a second unit to its current capacity in 1965. CELP operated the plant until Dec. 31, 2013, when it sold the facility to Crawfordsville Energy parent 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 formed under the laws of the State of Indiana with limited operations in power generation and oil and gas production and transmission.

In addition to owning Crawfordsville, Sterling is the sole direct owner of Niagara Generation LLC, Sterling Energy LLC, Sterling Natural Resources LLC (SNR) and KYNGO Holdings 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.

Of Sterling’s remaining subsidiaries: Sterling Energy is a developer of “clean coal” technologies that owns no generating facilities; SNR is currently inactive; and KYNGO and its subsidiaries, all of which are directly or indirectly owned by KYNGO, own and operate approximately 100 miles of pipeline and gathering systems in Butler and Warren counties, Kentucky, used to deliver gas from company-owned wells to an industrial customer.

A company contact is: William J. Harrington, President & CEO, Sterling Energy Group LLC, 532 Connecticut St., Gary, IN 46402, phone (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.