A settlement agreement between Duke Energy Indiana and several consumer groups concerning the utility's Edwardsport coal gasification plant has been expanded to include an agreement ceasing coal burning at another plant no later than 2020.
The original settlement in September was a response to the plant’s rising operating costs amid allegations it wasn't meeting performance expectations.
In the new agreement, Duke Energy agrees not to charge customers for $87.5 million of the operating costs of the Edwardsport plant, $2.5 million more than the original agreement.
Duke will also pay $500,000 to build solar installations for community organizations and/or low income customers, and to donate another $500,000 to a fund that benefits Duke’s low-income customers.
“Although this settlement doesn’t achieve all that we sought through this litigation, it does offer substantial relief for ratepayers, acknowledges problems with the Edwardsport plant’s startup and reduces Duke’s coal footprint in Indiana,” says a statement from Steve Francis, Chair of the Sierra Club's Hoosier Chapter.
The agreement is subject to Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approval.