Greater energy output, new equipment and improved reliability are just some of the advantages of the upgrade and modernization project approved by state regulators for Duke Energy Indiana's Markland Hydro Station near Florence, Ind., along the Ohio River.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the project on Dec. 14, following a settlement agreement that was reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.
"We are pleased with the commission's decision that allows us to keep the Markland Hydro Station operating for many more years," said Melody Birmingham-Byrd, state president of Duke Energy Indiana. "The low-cost, carbon-free power generated at Markland is an important part of our diversified portfolio of generation sources."
"The agreement that received commission approval in this case is the result of good-faith negotiations between the OUCC and Duke Energy," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. "The order ensures that Duke Energy's customers will continue to benefit from this renewable energy source that has served them dependably for many years, while doing so at a reasonable cost."
The station's three hydroelectric generators, turbines and associated equipment, which have been in service for nearly 50 years, will be upgraded and modernized one at a time, beginning in 2017. The total project is expected to take about four years and will cost about $152 million. After the project is completed, the station's energy output will increase by about 10 percent.
Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide about 7,100 MW of owned electric capacity to about 810,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state's largest electric supplier.