On November 2nd, a website called Utility Dive posted an article about a planned move by AES Indiana, an American utility company providing electric service to the city of Indianapolis. It is a subsidiary and largest utility of AES Corp.
The article reports:
AES Indiana plans to convert two coal-fired units totaling 1,052 MW at its Petersburg power plant to natural gas in 2025, which the utility estimates would be $381 million less expensive over 20 years compared with replacing the generating station with renewable energy and storage.
Notice that the implication in the above paragraph is the renewable energy requires storage. The wind does not blow all of the time and the sun does not shine all of the time, so green energy producers need a place to store the energy. The chemicals in the storage batteries are environmentally damaging, and the storage batteries do not last forever.
The article continues:
Like many other utilities, AES Indiana regularly develops a road map for its resource mix, with input from stakeholders. The utility expects to file its latest plan for review at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Dec. 1.
The plan envisions adding 1,450 MW of stand-alone solar in the first half of the next decade, plus 450 MW of solar combined with storage and 300 MW of wind.
At the end of the 20-year plan, AES Indiana would have a generating portfolio that is 87% solar, wind and storage, according to the utility. AES Indiana owns and contracts for 3,634 MW, with its coal plants constituting about half its portfolio.
The utility retired one unit at the four-unit Petersburg plant last year and is set to retire its 401-MW Unit 2 next year.
Under the plan, AES Indiana’s carbon dioxide emissions would fall 69%, to about 4 million metric tons, in 2030 from about 12 million metric tons in 2018, according to the presentation.
AES Indiana expects the power plant’s use will fall sharply if it is converted from coal to gas, helping reduce its air emissions and water use.
Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that could easily meet the needs of American consumers if drilling were to resume. I hope everyone who votes today will remember the joy of being able to heat your house with whatever fuel you prefer to any temperature you like.