Richard L. Benedict, Director of Project Development, joined IPL in December 2005 to help IPL rebalance its generation portfolio. If all regulatory approvals are received, IPL’s generation mix in 2017 will include 45% natural gas, 44% coal and 10% renewables as opposed to a historic mix dominated by coal. He is also involved in several environmental retrofit projects which will lead to lower emissions at the remaining coal units.
The additional natural-gas generation at IPL includes the new 671MW Eagle Valley CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) which is under construction and set for commercial operations in early 2017 near Martinsville, IN. Also included is the conversion from coal to natural-gas of 620MW and the addition of 20MW of energy storage at the Harding Street Station. Richard negotiated the purchase of the 80MW Georgetown 4 gas-fired unit for IPL and secured 300MW of wind energy under contract.
In his twenty years in power development, Richard developed projects elsewhere in the American MISO and PJM markets, as well as Canada, Colombia, and Argentina. In addition to the projects at IPL, this includes 1,230 MW of natural-gas fired peaking and co-generation plants, a 520MW coal-fired CFB plant (circulating fluidized bed), as well as negotiating several Power Purchase Agreements and utility co-generation contracts.
Richard earned his bachelors at the University of Chicago and an MBA at Harvard. He is married with two adult children.