Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an American Electric Power (AEP) company, has submitted a plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that calls for adding more than 2,000 MW of wind and solar energy generation by 2028. The Powering the Next Tomorrow plan is designed to ensure reliable, sustainable energy for I&M customers from a resilient grid using diverse generation sources.
“I&M is pleased to continue its responsible, systematic transition to cleaner generation sources while ensuring we will meet our customers’ needs for safe, reliable energy long into the future,” says Steve Baker, I&M’s president and COO. “I&M is Powering the Next Tomorrow by harnessing energy from the sun and wind, while ensuring we continue to have the necessary resources to power the homes, businesses and factories we serve 24/7.”
I&M’s intentions are described in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which provides a detailed analysis of future energy needs and how the company will meet those needs over the next 20 years. Though long-term plans are subject to revisions, I&M’s near-term plans to add more than 2,000 MW of wind and solar by 2028 have a higher degree of certainty.
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 later seeking proposals for about 800 MW of solar, 60 MW of battery storage and 1,000 MW from gas “peaking” units to meet the needs by 2028. Together, the new resources would more than quadruple I&M’s current solar and wind generation.
I&M continues to evaluate the best ways to ensure customers have reliable power 24/7/365, including when the sun doesn’t shine or wind doesn’t blow. With the retirement of I&M’s coal-fueled Rockport Plant scheduled by 2028, the company’s plans include natural-gas “peaking” units that are expected to be the most cost-effective, reliable source of additional power. These resources would produce power only during periods when there is high energy demand and could possibly use hydrogen to improve environmental performance.