(MARTINSVILLE) - The Indianapolis Power and Light Company announced today the construction of a new, energy efficient power plant in Martinsville to replace coal burning power plant it is planning to close down.
Officials say it is not economically feasible to renovate the Eagle Valley Generating Station to make it comply with new EPA regulations.
The new plant will burn natural gas and is expected to generate more energy and emit fewer emissions.
Governor Mike Pence, who was at the announcement, says the plant will also create jobs.
"The fact that during the construction phase there will be more than 600 jobs in this community and an enormous financial investment in central Indiana speaks for itself," he says. "But again, a key to Indiana's prosperity in the past and in the future has been low cost energy, and in the 21st century that also means low cost, clean energy."
Morgan County Council President Kenny Hale says the plant will also bring in tax revenue for Morgan County.
"The big benefits for the town and the county is the local revenue that this is going to generate, about 1.6 million," he says. "It's really going to benefit our county rove and some of the other infrastructure projects we got going on. But also all the kids in Morgan County schools are going to benefit."
The natural gas plant will be built on the same property as the previous facility, just South of Eagle Valley.
IPL is waiting for approval from the state regulatory commission but plans to have the new plant up and running by 2017.
IPL spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy says the company is working to help employees transition between the two plants.
"For those workers that are at Eagle Valley now will have training programs that will be available," she says. "And so for those wishing to stay in IPL, they would have the opportunity to go through that training program and transition to the new plant, the CCGT, in 2017."
IPL is hosting an open house night at Martinsville High School on May 21 to discuss plans for the new plant with the community.
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