WHEATFIELD — The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is delaying the retirement of two coal-fired electric generating units at its Schahfer Generating Station in Wheafield until 2025.
NIPSCO officials said the delay is necessary because of the current federal solar tariff investigation, which involves potential trade violations involving solar panels bought from Asian suppliers. The U.S. Department of Commerce is looking into claims that solar cell manufacturers are avoiding U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods by producing solar cells with Chinese parts in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
NIPSCO plans to replace power generated at its coal plant through use of solar panels at various points throughout Jasper County.
The investigation, which began in March, is expected to take up to a year and could result in massive disruptions to the solar energy industry, NIPSCO said in a press release.
NIPSCO said two of its units were scheduled to retire in 2023, but that decision has been pushed back two years due to expected delays in the solar projects that would replace their generating capacity.
NIPSCO said most solar projects scheduled for completion in 2022 and 2023 would experience a delay between six and 18 months.
The company said its Michigan City Generating Station, scheduled to retire between 2026 and 2028, will still retire on schedule.