Power and Reliability Focused on Rural Areas – Inside INdiana Business

Brian Anderson is director of economic development for the Wabash Valley Power Authority. (courtesy of AgriNovus Indiana)

The director of economic development for Indianapolis-based Wabash Valley Power Alliance says diversity in its power sources is critical to the power wholesaler’s reliability and predictability. Brian Anderson says these two factors help him promote Indiana to businesses that might want to locate in the Hoosier State. Anderson is the guest of the next episode of Agbiosciencethe podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana.

“When you talk to an end user, they often want to make sure you’re around the clock. Reliable. When they need it, it will be there,” Anderson told podcast host and AgriNovus CEO Mitch Frazier.

WVPA is owned by 23-member rural electric cooperatives spread across northern and central Indiana and parts of Illinois. The group of cooperatives represents more than 330,000 customers.

Anderson says that in the changing economy, there are an increasing number of data centers and microchip makers that have significant power requirements.

“Just to accommodate these user requests, it’s not ridiculous to say that a single user could be 50% of the size of our entire system of 330,000 users,” Anderson said.

Anderson says the industry is continually reviewing infrastructure needs and sources of production. While there’s a strong push toward renewables from wind and solar, WVPA isn’t ready to give up its coal-fired power plants that provide 35% of its electricity. It also depends on natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable sources.

“Maintaining a diversified and balanced portfolio has always been central to our mission and how we choose to serve power. But at the same time, there is a risk factor here. When your eggs aren’t all in one basket, it protects you from wild swings or things like that,” Anderson said.

Anderson also explains during the podcast the organization’s balanced path to decarbonization and working with agribioscience industry leaders to create big impact in Indiana. The new Agbioscience podcast comes out Monday morning. Click here to access the AgriNovus podcasts. And click here to list the full lineup of Inside INdiana Business podcasts hosted by Gerry Dick.