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Duke Energy May Have To Buy Electricity

Last updated on Friday, October 2, 2009

(TERRE HAUTE) - Duke Energy may have to buy more electricity on the wholesale market to keep up with peak summer demand in the next three years.

In the past, the utility has relied on additional production from three coal-fired units at the generating station in Terre Haute.

But a judge ordered that they be taken off line permanently at the end of September.

Environmentalists had petitioned the court, objecting to the level of air pollutants issued by the coal-fired units, even though they were already scheduled to shut down in 2012.

That's when the company's new cleaner-burning coal gasification plant goes into operation in Edwardsport.

The Hoosier Environmental Council is queasy about the new plant, too.

Executive Director Tim Maloney says, "that technology is still far from being deployed successfully on a large commercial scale.

"the new plant will have 10 times the generating capacity of the existing Edwardsport plant.

But it will emit 45 percent less carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, as well as emitting less sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury.

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