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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Letter to the editor: Customers need reliable power supply

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, February 23, 2017 05:01 am
Constant availability of affordable electricity is vital to attracting, keeping and growing businesses in Indiana. For decades, low-cost coal that fuels generation plants have played a big role in helping Hoosier electric utilities meet that need. This model has been under attack. The federal government has already proposed stiff carbon-emission rules that will increasingly make it costlier to produce electricity using coal. Wind and solar energy show a lot of promise, and that’s why Hoosiers see increasingly more wind farms and racks of solar panels across the state. But renewables are still more expensive than coal.

To be sure, there is a value in renewable resources, and they will play a bigger part in our energy future. But the essential point is we can’t depend on them to provide non-stop energy because the wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine and battery storage technology still has a long way to go to play a viable large-scale role.

Facing this uncertain economic and government regulatory environment, I’m glad to see the approach Indiana Michigan Power is taking.

I&M is adding renewable wind and solar energy. At the same time, I&M is taking responsible steps to ensure its customers still have reliable 24/7 power. The company is adding controls to further reduce emissions at its only remaining Indiana coal plant. The company is also taking steps to make sure its only nuclear plant is well-equipped to continue to generate electricity for many years into the future.

And I&M’s rates remain below state and national averages for business and industry as well as residential — a factor that is important to northeast Indiana’s economy.

At Greater Fort Wayne Inc., we understand that renewables will play an ever-increasing role in the energy picture. But until there are more technological breakthroughs, we also understand that customers need I&M’s coal-fueled plant and its emission-free nuclear plant to continue to generate energy.

As we continue to grow our region into a nationally recognized economy, it’s good to know that I&M is working to make sure power is available and affordable

Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

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