Although the petition doesn’t say how much the utility will seek from customers, a Vectren spokeswoman said the project will cost $164 million.
The monthly rate increases, if granted by state regulators, would likely be about $1.50 for the typical household customer in the first year. That monthly amount would increase by an additional $1.50 each year, or by about $10.50 over the seven years.
Duke said Thursday it will lease about 10 acres from the Purdue Research Foundation for the project it calls the Tippecanoe County Solar Power Plant.
The utility says it wants to keep most of its coal-fired plants in Indiana running through much of the next decade, while gradually investing in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.
More than 800,000 customers of Duke Energy Indiana could see their monthly bills jump if the utility receives state permission to increase rates for the first time in about 15 years.
Vincent Parisi will become the fourth leader of IPL since 2015, managing a utility that serves about 500,000 customers in central Indiana.
The utility had wanted to build the gas-fired plant to replace aging coal-burning units, but regulators said the plan was too risky and inflexible.
Scott Pruitt, the scandal-ridden former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, registered Thursday as fossil-fuels interests in the state fight to block the proposed closure of several coal-fired power plants.
The House voted 53-38 Thursday to strip language that would have prohibited the state from approving new power plants for two years, a move widely seen as delaying construction of renewable energy projects.
The House Utilities Committee advanced legislation this week along party lines that would prohibit state regulators from approving any large new power plants until 2021. Environmentalists and utilities say the move could interrupt the transition from coal to renewable fuels and natural gas.
The utility, with more than 300,000 customers in central Indiana, announced a settlement agreement Tuesday with consumer groups.
American Resources Corp., formed in 2015, specializes in buying distressed coal assets from struggling or bankrupt coal operators.
Cleanup options include excavating ponds or capping the ponds and keeping the ash in place. Both methods require steps to be taken to protect the water quality of nearby rivers or lakes.
White Stallion Energy of Evansville says workers will be given the chance to transfer to one of the company’s other mine sites.
The farms stretching over four counties and a portion of central Indiana would have nearly 300 wind turbines that could be spinning as early as 2020.