Indiana Michigan Power Co. proposed adding more than 2,000 MW of wind and solar energy capacity by 2028.
I&M’s proposal, submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, details planned actions from the near future through the next 20 years. The first step will occur in coming months, when I&M issues a request for proposal (RFP) for approximately 800 MW of wind and approximately 500 MW of solar to meet customer needs, with half of those resources generating energy in 2025 and the remainder by 2026.
A second RFP is planned for a later date seeking proposals for about 800 MW of solar, 60 MW of battery storage and 1,000 MW from natural gas peaking units to meet system needs by 2028. Together, the new resources would more than quadruple I&M’s current solar and wind generation capacity.
With the scheduled retirement of I&M’s coal-fired Rockport Plant by 2028, the natural-gas peaking units would generate power only during periods of high energy use and could potentially use hydrogen as a future fuel source.
I&M’s proposal is included in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which usually provides more detail about specific project proposals and timelines. However, the utility requested the document be kept confidential, according to docket information accessed on the commission’s website.
Indiana Michigan Power is a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), which has a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. I&M said that including Cook Nuclear Plant, wind and solar resources as well as power from six water-powered hydroelectric plants, 85% of the energy it generated in 2020 was carbon-emission free.
The utility said that resource decisions beyond 2028 will be based on future decisions regarding the potential license extensions of the Cook Nuclear Plant. The IRP assumed that Cook Unit 1 and 2 would continue operating through 2034 and 2037, respectively.