NIPSCO plans $1B transmission and distribution update

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) wants to modernize its electrical network. The utility has filed plans with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a $1 billion transmission and distribution project, which includes replacing hundreds of miles of electrical lines above and below ground, The Associated Press reported. About 75 substation transformers will also be updated as part of the project.

The NIPSCO plan also includes a request for a rate increase of about 1 percent per year between 2015 and 2020. If approved, work is expected to begin in 2014 and take several years to complete.

The improvements to NIPSCO's electrical infrastructure will affect about 457,000 customers in about 23 Indiana counties. NIPSCO spokesperson Nick Meyer told the South Bend Tribune the company also plans to begin a similar project for its gas customers later this year. Meyer said the projects are greatly needed. 

"Most of our system was built in the post-World War II-era and similar to roads, bridges and highways, there's an aging infrastructure that needs to be addressed before it becomes a problem," he said.

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