NIPSCO plans demolition, cleanup of retired Mitchell coal plant in Indiana

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) is beginning a 24-month process to demolish its out-of-service Dean H. Mitchell Electric Generating Station, located along Lake Michigan in Gary, Indiana.

NIPSCO said Aug. 12 that it will work 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.

The estimated $18m 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 built 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, the utility said.

“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.”

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.

Merrillville, Indiana-based NIPSCO is Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company, and the second-largest electric distribution company. NIPSCO serves approximately 810,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties.

NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE:NI) seven regulated utility companies. NiSource is a fully regulated utility company, serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.