We're joining the national celebration of Careers in Energy Week over here at Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) this week! IPL has over 1,400 extraordinary employees who are focused on powering the future for our 480,000 customers. Today on +Stories, we're featuring an extraordinary employee who has led the way in transforming how our customers receive affordable, sustainable and reliable energy. Richard Benedict, IPL Director of Project Development, has worked in the energy industry for more than 22 years. For the last ten, he has been located in Indianapolis managing IPL's strategic resource planning efforts.
Richard led the effort to develop a new 671 megawatt (MW) Combined-Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station at IPL's existing Eagle Valley power plant, where IPL stopped burning all six coal units earlier this year. CCGT plants produce electricity more efficiently with fewer environmental emissions than the other thermal energy options available in Indiana today. Richard also developed the IPL Advancion® Energy Storage Array, which is the first grid-scale battery interconnected in the 15-state MISO grid.
Previously at IPL, Richard was involved in the refueling of Harding Street Units 5-7 from burning coal to utilizing natural gas. He also negotiated two Wind Power Purchase Agreements for the 100 MW Hoosier Wind Park and the 200 MW Lakefield Wind Park.
When asked what he loves about his job, Richard said:
"Developing new generating technologies gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that this is making a positive impact on the environment and for our customers."
Join the Careers in Energy Week conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we highlight IPL employees all week long!