The Edwardsport project began in 2008 and the company completed the necessary steps to be declared commercial on June 7. It will provide the following environmental advantages:
* Produce 10 times as much power as the former plant at Edwardsport, yet with about 70 percent fewer emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates combined.
* Use excess steam that would normally be wasted to power a second turbine and increase plant efficiency and output.
* Reduce carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour by nearly half compared to the plant it replaces.
* Generate marketable byproducts. The plant will produce sulfur and slag for agricultural and construction materials. Any revenues from marketable byproducts will go to customers.
* Use less water than a conventional coal-fired plant.
As the company testified before state regulators, this is the first time the technology has been used on this scale, so the plant is expected to build up to its long-term level of availability over the next 15 months. It will provide Indiana customers with power for decades.
Highlighting the fact that the average age of coal-fired plants on Indiana system is 45 years and this facility is key to modernizing the system and filling the gap left by plant retirements, Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann said, "Coal has powered Indiana for more than a century. But today's air quality standards require us to use that fuel in a cleaner, more efficient way. Edwardsport turns coal into a cleaner-burning fuel and enables us to continue using an abundant local resource. It replaces about 500 MW of older coal-fired generation that we recently retired or expect to retire soon due to new EPA regulations."