Duke Energy Could Close Terre Haute Unit

The Duke Energy Wabash unit in Terre Haute might close because of failure to meet new EPA rules regulating mercury release.

Duke Energy Gibson Plant

Photo: Duke Energy

Duke Energy Gibson Plant in Gibson County, Indiana.

Duke Energy says its Wabash River Station in Terre Haute could be shut down within the next few years. The speculation has come up after the Environmental Protection Agency announced new regulations limiting the amount of mercury plants can release into the air.

Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protogere says may have to close because the Terre Haute plant, which first opened in 1953, is so old that trying to clean up the station to meet regulations would be more expensive than creating another one.

“If the rule is finalized as proposed, it is likely that we would not be able to operate that station and be in compliance with the rule,” Protogere said.

Even with a pending shutdown, Protogere said Duke Energy could keep on the plant’s employees.

“Well, first we don’t know that jobs would be lost,” she said. “It’s too early to speculate.  We have about 100 Duke Energy employees there, and we also have about 40 full-time, contract employees dedicated to the power plant.”

If the employees were to be laid off, it would be another hit to the Terre Haute economy, whose unemployment rate is approximately 11 percent.

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