Indiana utility CenterPoint eyes 1GW of solar and hybrids to replace retiring coal fleet

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Image: IRENA.

US utility CenterPoint Energy is seeking up to 1GW of solar, and solar-plus-storage hybrids, to meet electricity demand in southwestern Indiana as it retires coal-fired plants.

The company’s Indiana-based electric and gas business, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co (SIGECO), is opening a new request for proposals (RFP) to assist in identifying replacement generation capacity beginning in 2023 to meet the needs of 145,000 electric customers.

SIGECO is seeking 700MW to 1GW of solar, some of which would be installed alongside battery energy storage, as well as 300MW of wind resources.

Steve Greenley, senior vice president of generation development at CenterPoint, said that while the company continues negotiating for active projects identified in its first all-source RFP, conducted as part of its most recent integrated resource plan, additional projects “are required to fill the remaining need”.

SIGECO recently completed its 2019/2020 integrated resource plan, in which the company detailed its ambition to retire 730MW of coal-fired generation by 2024 and largely fill its ongoing energy need with renewable generation.

The news comes as the ongoing cost declines in solar and battery technologies result in more US utilities shifting to renewables as they phase out their coal assets.

Last month, Texas-based CPS Energy revealed plans to add up to 900MW of solar and 50MW of battery storage as it aims to supplement 1.7GW of ageing power generation capacity. Meanwhile, Duke Energy earlier this week said it may bolster investments in solar power in Florida and the Carolinas.

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