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CAC Challenges Duke Energy Indiana’s Plan for More Fossil Fuels

 

On May 16, 2022, CAC, along with our partners at Earthjustice and Vote Solar and our consultant Energy Futures Group, submitted an extensive Report and Modeling on Duke Energy Indiana’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

 

Background on Duke’s IRP

  • CAC and our consultants actively participated in Duke’s IRP stakeholder meetings throughout 2021.
  • Duke submitted its final IRP in December 2021.
  • The IRP shows how Duke is planning to meet its customers’ energy needs for the next 20 years.
  • Duke’s IRP says it will keep running its Edwardsport power plant on coal until 2035.
  • Duke’s IRP proposes building new fossil gas plants and keeping its coal plants open instead of retiring them when there are cheaper options available. 

 

CAC Pushes Back on Duke’s IRP 

We worked with national experts to dive into Duke’s complex models and make sure that Duke fairly considered clean and affordable energy solutions. We found many big problems with how Duke did its IRP, including:

  • Duke’s decision to keep its Edwardsport plant running on coal until 2035 is more expensive and polluting than alternatives.
  • Duke used bad assumptions about how much different types of energy cost. It made fossil gas look cheaper than it actually is, while making clean energy resources like energy efficiency, solar, and battery storage look more expensive than they actually are.
  • As a result, Duke’s IRP says that it will build a large fossil gas plant that would result in decades of more carbon pollution. Fossil gas prices are also very volatile, with any sudden increases paid for by Hoosier families in their energy bills.
  • Duke did not accurately describe the inputs into its IRP and is keeping many details about the data it used secret. By claiming the data is confidential, Duke is keeping the public from being able to understand key inputs into its IRP.

 

CAC is strongly pushing back on Duke’s plans to keep Hoosiers paying for expensive and dirty energy for decades into the future. Our experts corrected some of Duke’s IRP errors and re-did the IRP analysis. We found that Duke could save Hoosiers money while moving faster to clean energy solutions by: 

  • Stop burning coal at its Edwardsport power plant.
  • Not building a giant new fossil gas plant this decade.
  • Using more clean energy solutions like solar, wind, batteries, and energy efficiency.

 

We urge Duke to work constructively with stakeholders like CAC, as other Indiana utilities have done, to correct its mistakes and create a fair IRP for Hoosiers. In the meantime, CAC is ready to leap into action to oppose any formal filing by Duke at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that would raise your bills by letting Duke build a giant new fossil gas plant that is based on this faulty IRP. 

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