INDIANAPOLIS – Two of Indiana's utility companies are going to start putting in new power lines so they can ship energy created by wind farms across the state.
NIPSCO and Pioneer will build a 100-mile line from White County to LaGrange County, then a new 65-mile route from the Indianapolis area to Reynolds, and then on to the East Coast.
Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, says even with this, Indiana isn’t trying very hard to make clean energy a priority.
"We have utility companies who are continuing to invest billions of dollars in aging coal plants that really should be retired and replaced with clean energy, so Indiana isn't doing so well,” he points out. “We seem to be doing everything in our power to maintain our addiction to coal."
Olsen says his group wants to make sure that these new transmission lines are actually going to be used to move the wind farm energy, and not to ship out excess electricity from coal plants.
Olsen says Pioneer, which is a joint venture by Duke and American Electric Power, is too addicted to coal.
"We have concerns,” he states. “When we see a large transmission project being constructed by Duke and AEP that's connected to all of their coal-fired power plants in southwest Indiana, that leads us to believe potentially that these lines will be used to sell surplus coal-fired power."
Olsen says Citizens Action Coalition is working hard to drive policy toward clean energy, and change the investment pattern of Indiana utility companies so they'll think green instead of coal.