US utility plans to ditch coal in favour of renewables

Vectren, US energy company servicing the state of Indiana, has announced plans to shift from what is a nearly an all coal generation business to producing nearly two thirds of its total energy from renewable energy sources by 2025.

Announced on Monday during the company’s public stakeholder meeting, Vectren – which is a subsidiary of American Fortune 500 electric and gas utility CenterPoint Energy – revealed a final Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) which will serve to reduce the utility’s reliance on fossil fuels and lower its carbon emissions by nearly 75% on 2005 levels.

The company will retire or exit agreements involving 730MW of coal-fired generation, which will in turn avoid investments estimated at around $US700 million ($A1,011 million) which would have been required to bring their coal fleet up to comply with environmental standards.

With plans to retire or exit existing coal agreements by the end of 2023, the company hopes to make a significant dent in its lifecycle CO2 emissions.

Replacing its fleet of coal-fired generation will be between 700MW and 1GW of solar – some of which will be connected to battery energy storage – and another 300MW of wind energy.

The company estimates that it’s new plan will save its electric customers an estimated $US320 million ($A462 million) over the 20-year planning period.

(Source: Renew Economy)