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Coal Car Makes Final Delivery to Perry K Steam Plant


INDIANAPOLIS –In 1893, Thomas Edison finished construction on the first motion picture studio in New Jersey. In Indianapolis, an equally monumental event was happening as a coal train made its first delivery to the Perry K Steam Plant, located downtown. Today, 121 years later, the final load of coal was emptied at the plant. Once the final tons of coal are burned in mid-March, Perry K will burn only natural gas.

“When the Perry K Steam Plant first opened, burning coal was the best way to supply heat to our customers,” said Chris Braun, Citizens Energy Group Vice President of Energy Operations. “Over time, however, the practice of burning natural gas has proven more cost effective, cleaner and safer.”

For the past 121 years, a 50-car coal train has made weekly deliveries to Perry K.  The rotary car dumper, installed in 1946, has turned over and emptied nearly 350,000 coal cars carrying 100 tons of coal. Since the natural gas conversion process began, the amount of coal delivered to the plant each year has decreased from 1 million tons to 150 thousand tons. The coal is dumped in the Perry K Coal Yard, across the street from the plant, and burned as needed. The final load of coal emptied today will last approximately six hours.

Three of the plant’s coal boilers have already been converted to natural gas. The final boiler will be converted by June. Once the conversion process is complete, Citizens will clean the plant’s ash silos, its exterior walls, and paint the stacks. Several companies have already expressed interest in purchasing the locomotive and rail cars used to transport the coal.

“Every day our mission at Citizens is to provide safe, reliable services for our customers in the most cost effective way we know,” said Carey Lykins, President and CEO of Citizens Energy Group. “Altering a century-long business practice because it’s better for the environment and for our customers further proves that mission.”

Perry K produces steam for many large buildings, hospitals and industries in downtown Indianapolis. The steam is distributed to Citizens’ customers through its district steam system, which is the second largest system in the U.S.

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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