IPL plans to convert Harding Street coal-fired power plant to natural gas

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Indianapolis Power & Light announced plans Friday to convert an aging, coal-fired power plant on Harding Street to natural gas.

It wants to do so by 2016.

IPL President and CEO Kelly Huntington tells The Associated Press the utility's decision to ask state regulators to approve switching the 427-megawatt station to natural gas was the "least cost option" for IPL's 470,000 Indianapolis metropolitan area customers based on the impact of new federal EPA regulations.

A recent EPA report says the plant accounts for 88 percent of all toxic industrial pollution in Marion County.

Various groups have been pushing for this for some time.

Jodi Perras of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign says more than 55 local groups passed resolutions urging IPL to retire the plant that's long been Indianapolis' biggest industrial polluter.

The Sierra Club also says that "with today's announcement, 177 coal-fired power plants across the country have been slated for retirement as coal continues its decline nationwide. The retirement of the sole remaining coal-fired boiler at the Harding Street plant also represents the 500th unit to be retired since 2010."

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