Hoosier Energy's power supply portfolio includes clean renewable energy from landfill methane, coalbed methane, wind turbines and hydropower.
Hoosier Energy adopted a Renewable Energy Policy in 2006, establishing goals to increase the share of renewable energy in its power supply portfolio. Although the U.S. and Indiana have no laws requiring utilities to have renewable energy programs, the generation and transmission co-op has committed to increasing its renewable energy portfolio by five percent of annual growth.
In meeting these goals, Hoosier Energy has implemented several initiatives Renewable energy pilot programs have been developed to evaluate the feasibility of small-scale wind and solar energy generation. As well, Hoosier Energy provides assistance to member cooperatives developing renewable energy projects in their territories.
Hoosier Energy produces power from coalbed methane at the Osprey Point Renewable Energy Station that opened in mid-2013 on the Merom Station grounds.. Capacity of the clean energy facility's four reciprocating engines is 13 megawatts. Coalbed methane technology has been widely used to collect gas for pipelines. Hoosier Energy's project is unique in using CBM from 58 wells drilled in Sullivan County to directly produce electric power.
Hoosier Energy has been operating a renewable power facility at the Clark-Floyd landfill in southern Indiana since October 2007. Gas produced in the landfill provides a source of fuel to power generators around the clock. Power production at the plant is capable of producing approximately 3.5 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power 7,000 homes.
The latest generating facility is a three-engine 14-megawatt landfill methane plant in Pontiac, Ill. It is located at the 460-acre Livingston Landfill operated by Republic Services.
Landfill gas generation is recognized as renewable energy and offsets carbon dioxide emissions and provides other environmental benefits. Methane, with emissions 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide would otherwise be flared into the atmosphere, is used to produce electricity. These facilities also reduce emissions.
Hoosier Energy has a 20-year power purchase agreement or electricity produced at the Dayton Hydro plant near Ottawa, Ill. The LaSalle County facility has three turbines with 3.7 megawatts (MW) total capacity.
Wind power comes from a purchase power agreement with a wind generation project in Story County, Iowa. Hoosier Energy purchases 25 megawatts of the plant's output.
Hoosier Energy is a charter member of a National Renewables Cooperative, which looks for opportunities for co-ops to work together on renewable energy projects. Green energy is made available to available to member co-ops through the EnviroWatts® program.
Hoosier Energy encourages power development from resources that naturally replenish, utilization of residual materials, or recycled waste or similar materials. Viable sources may include: hydro, landfill methane, coalbed methane, geothermal generation, digesters, wind, solar, biomass, wood, waste-heat recovery units, and heat recovery technologies (including geothermal and air source heat pumps).
The objectives of Hoosier Energy's Renewable Energy Policy are:
- Create diversity of power supply resources.
- Provide member co-ops with renewable energy to support consumer programs.
- Strengthen and reinforce Hoosier Energy's environmental stewardship initiatives.
- Improve economies of rural communities in central and southern Indiana.
The Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development has worked with Hoosier Energy on several renewable energy initiatives. The power supply cooperative received state Alternative Power and Energy Grants for use on the Clark-Floyd LMG project as well as the renewable energy pilot program.