electricity

A novel way to create sheet metal could generate big energy savings in motorized machines.

Purdue University engineers are getting a $1.5 million federal grant to begin studying the new process and its applications this summer.

The three-year project will focus on adding larger amounts of silicon to the small steel parts that help power electric motors.

Silicon helps the steel waste less electricity, says Purdue materials engineer Kevin Trumble, but adding enough to make a difference isn’t easy.

Rennett Stowe / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/13826276284

Legislators are looking to slam the brakes on rising electric costs. Ten years ago, industrial electric bills in Indiana were the sixth-lowest in the U.S. They've risen by two-thirds since then and now rank 26th.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says it's starting to interfere with economic development. He says the low taxes Indiana has trumpeted for years in some cases are being outweighed by the lower power bills in neighboring, high-tax Illinois.

'Battery Farm' Could Help Power 15 States

Jul 10, 2015
Joe Strupek / https://www.flickr.com/photos/strupey/6859432225

Indianapolis Power and Light has broken ground on what it says will be one of the largest energy-storage facilities in the Midwest. IPL will use interconnected, advanced batteries to store up to 20 megawatts of energy.

Ken Zagzebski, president of IPL parent company AES, says the battery array will make the power grid more reliable by smoothing out variations in supply and demand.

And he says the lithium-ion batteries will reduce emissions. He says only recently have electric companies cracked the long-standing dilemma of how to store energy for when it‘s needed.

courtesy Duke Energy (Flickr)

Hearings began this week in a case that will determine whether utility customers or shareholders should pay for additional costs related to Duke Energy’s Edwardsport coal gasification plant.

When first proposed in 2006, the project was expected to cost nearly $2 billion. Final costs totaled $3.5 billion, not including ongoing operational costs.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has previously approved requests from Duke Energy to recover a large portion of that money through customer rate increases.