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Combined-Cycle Plant to Slash Emissions 98%

aes logoA planned 650MW combined-cycle gas turbine power station in Indiana will reduce the rate of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 98 percent and water use by 97 percent.

The CCGT project, which will begin construction in the third quarter of 2014, will replace a coal-fired plant and clean up the largest source of industrial pollution in Marion County, Indiana. The new plant is expected to come online in 2017.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved AES Corporation subsidiary Indianapolis Power & Light’s request to invest about $600 million into the new power station as well as $36 million to convert two units at the Harding Street Generation Station totaling 200MW from coal to natural gas.

The conversion of the two units will being in the fall of 2015 and be completed by early 2016.

The project marks the utility’s shift away from coal and towards natural gas, wind, solar and oil. By 2017, IPL’s reliance on coal-fired generation will have decreased to 54 percent from nearly 80 percent 10 years before, Fierce Energy reports.

AES, the parent of IPL, has received final approvals or reach financial closing on about 2,600MW of expansion projects in the US, Chile, India and Panama, the company says. The projects will come online and contribute to its earnings and cash flow growth in 2015 through 2018.

In May, the US Supreme Court upheld an air pollution rule intended to reduce the amount of coal plant emissions that cross state lines.

In a 6-2 decision, the court backed the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), adopted by the EPA in 2011, which set limits on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 Eastern states and Texas.

While environmental groups applauded the Supreme Court’s decision, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity called the ruling “dangerous and costly.”

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