New NIPSCO-RFP in search of solar and storage assets

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc., has opened its next round of call for proposals (RFP) to explore a combination of potential resources to meet its customers' future electricity needs . The RFP is open until June 30th.

The RFP is part of the company's 2021 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – a regulatory process used in Indiana and other states to thoroughly analyze and outline how electricity utilities plan to meet their customers' energy needs in the future. The process includes a public forum where customers, consumer representatives, environmental groups, and other stakeholders participate and contribute, which will last until October when the plan is submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

NiSource's previously announced customer-facing "Your Energy, Your Future" initiative, which includes NIPSCO's generation changeover plan, was the result of NIPSCO's 2018 IRP. NIPSCO plans to be carbon-free by 2028 by adding cleaner energy sources to its existing portfolio of natural gas and hydropower plants. According to NIPSCO, the generation change will provide NIPSCO customers with a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix in the years to come, and will save customers $ 4 billion in the long term.

As we work towards our generational change, 'Your Energy, Your Future', it is important for us to consider all energy source options to meet our energy needs in 2028 and beyond. With this RFP we can learn what this future will look like. Says Mike Hooper, President of NIPSCO. “Following the same process that we went through in 2018, the specific data and understanding of the landscape of actionable projects that we collect as part of the RFP will be combined with a large number of stakeholder voices that will be involved throughout the IRP process , ensure NIPSCO delivers the best plan for our customers and the communities we serve. "

NIPSCO is reviewing all sources in the RFP process to meet its capacity needs from 2024, 2025 and 2026. Shipping and semi-shipping generation, renewable energy, storage, emerging technologies and other capacity resources, and contractual arrangements are considered.

In particular, NIPSCO requests proposals in three target areas:

  • Wind resources and wind + storage
  • Solar resources and solar + storage
  • Thermal self-contained storage, emerging technologies, and other capacity resources

The expected range in all target areas is 400 to 650 MW of unconstrained capacity (UCAP). NIPSCO reserves the right to act more or less than the stated target.

NIPSCO's current energy mix includes natural gas and coal, hydropower, wind generation, on-site renewable energy generation, demand response, energy efficiency and other purchased electricity – plus 12 other renewable projects expected to be operational by 2023.

For more information on the recently released NIPSCO RFP, click here.

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