- Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana has filed a seven-year grid modernization plan with state regulators, laying out proposals for $500 million in upgrades and enhancements to substations, transmission and distribution networks.
- The upgrades target a seven-county service area in southwestern Indiana where work is needed to maintain reliable system performance. Vectren operates in the area as Vectren South. If approved, the utility said its plan would add between $1 and $2 to an average customer's monthly bill.
- The utility is also proposing a pair of 2 MW solar projects that will be paired with 1 MW of battery storage. Those projects could be online next year.
Vectren South spent a year and a half working on a risk assessment of its system before filing an extensive proposal to maintain reliability in a specific service area. The work aims to prep the utility's grid for advanced technology that will improve customer service and ultimately improve customer access to better information about their energy use.
“Over the next several years, this modernization work will ensure our energy grid is resilient and more capable of meeting the energy demands of our customers for years to come, especially as advancements in energy technology require a smarter grid,” Vectren chairman, president and CEO Carl Chapman said in a statement.
The proposal is a "long-term asset management plan," he said, overhauling infrastructure from utility pole replacement to installing digital meters.
Among the projects are two proposed universal solar installations; once site has already been chosen and the second is expected to be named soon through a partnership with the city of Evansville, Ind. The 2 MW projects would also have 1 MW of battery storage on site.
“The universal solar projects continue our commitment, along with our existing wind farm contracts and landfill gas project, toward a more balanced electric generation mix,” Chapman said.
Vectren South announced in November it anticipates adding more renewable energy and natural gas into its fleet. "Projects like these demonstrate our promise to become a next generation energy company," Chapman added.
Vectren also told regulators the proposal will have positive economic impacts, including supporting about 1,000 jobs at the peak of the modernization program, and generating about $20 million in state and local government tax revenue effects through 2023.