Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) said that its Eagle Valley Generating Station, a 671MW natural gas-fired power plant in Martinsville in the US state of Indiana has started commercial operations.

Eagle Valley CCGT natural gas power plant

Image: IPL's Eagle Valley Generating Station in Martinsville. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.

Built with an investment of around $600m, the combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) natural gas plant generates enough electricity to meet the power consumption needs of 370,000 households.

The new gas power plant has replaced an earlier thermal power plant, which was retired by IPL in 2015.

IPL, which is a subsidiary of AES, said that the Eagle Valley Generating Station is among the cleanest and most efficient thermal power plants to have come up in Indiana.

The company also claimed that the new natural gas power plant can bring down the rate of most emissions, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 98%, in comparison to the six coal- and oil-fired power generating units it had replaced.

IPL president and CEO Craig Jackson said: “This is an important investment for our customers and community as the plant will have a lower rate of emissions than the coal units it replaces, and is the most reasonable cost option for our customers,” said Craig Jackson, IPL President and CEO.

“Our future is focused on accelerating cleaner, smarter and affordable options for our customers and we are proud of the efforts we’ve made over the last few years to significantly reduce our dependence on coal and focus toward a more balanced energy mix.”

According to IPL, the new Eagle Valley power plant is connected to two interstate natural gas pipelines which provide low-cost fuel from some of the important natural-gas producing basins in the country.

Vectren was selected to build a 16inch pipeline that connects the power plant to the two natural gas pipelines – Texas Gas Transmission and Rockies Express.

As part of the gas power plant, IPL also upgraded a 138KV transmission line using its existing towers from the new power plant to its Franklin Township substation.