Northern Indiana Public Service Company says they've reached an environmental milestone. The Merrillville-based utility giant says the first phase of an emissions-control system recently began operating at the Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield. The technology, known as a “scrubber” , is one of three going in at NIPSCO's coal-fired generating stations over the next couple years, an investment totaling $739 million, the company says. A second one at Schahfer is scheduled for completion next Fall and a third in 2016 at the Michigan City generating station.
Similar environmental upgrades have previously been completed on NIPSCO’s other generating units. After these latest investments, NIPSCO says they will have among the cleanest coal fleets in the state. The project, which began in 2011, required more than 1.7 million hours of work and employed more than 800 local craft laborers.
“Improving air quality is important, and we have made substantial progress in recent years by diversifying our supply mix and investing in other environmental improvements,” said Mike Finissi, chief operating officer for NIPSCO. “We worked diligently to ensure that we completed the project safely, on time and in the most cost-effective way for our customers.”
The project follows approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and a 2011 settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Indiana under the Clean Air Act.