Hallador Energy acquiring Merom electric plant in Sullivan County

Hallador Energy is acquiring a 1-gigawatt power plant in southwestern Indiana that’s currently owned by Hoosier Energy and is approaching retirement.

The companies said Hallador Energy would acquire Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy’s Merom Generating Station, located near the Wabash River in Sullivan County.

A new subsidiary, Hallador Power Company LLC, will acquire the plant in return for “assuming certain decommissioning costs and environmental responsibilities,” the companies said Feb. 15 in a joint news release.

The transaction, which includes a 3.5-year power purchase agreement, is expected to close in mid-July 2022 if required governmental and financial approvals are obtained, the Tribune-Star reported.

Hoosier Energy announced a long range resource plan in January 2020 that included the expected retirement of the coal-fired Merom plant in May 2023 as part of a transition to other energy sources, including wind, solar, natural gas and battery storage.

At the time, Hoosier Energy said it would sell the plant under if the right deal came along.

Hallador and Hoosier Energy said Hallador will be able to operate the plant at a much lower cost, given its ownership and control of fuel supply.

The companies’ existing renewable power purchase agreement, which includes 150 megawatts of solar generation and 50 megawatts of battery storage, will be retained, with its start date delayed until Merom’s eventual retirement.

Hoosier Energy provides electric power to 18 power distribution cooperatives in southern and central Indiana and southeastern Illinois serving about 710,000 consumers.

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