In September, the Utility Forecasting Group (UFG), a panel of researchers based at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., released a report titled, “Indiana Electricity Projections: The 2003 Forecast, that projects the state may face a significant need for additional power-generating facilities in the next five years due to increasing electricity demands.

Among the report’s predictions is by 2009, the state will need to provide an additional 2,400MW of electricity, which represents a 10% increase over the existing level.

The report looked at three categories of electricity: baseload power, which is produced by plants that generate electricity throughout the day; peaking power, which is electricity produced by plants only during the heaviest demand, like the hottest part of the summer; and cycling power, which is produced by plants that provide power for uses between peaking and baseload demand.

Douglas Gotham, UFG associate director, says the majority of the increase consists of baseload power, which accounts for 1,000MW of the 2,400MW increase. "This is the first forecast that identifies a substantial need for additional baseload capacity," Gotham says.

Gotham says one of the options to cope with the increase in demand will be to build new power plants, a move that would highlight the significance of the distinction between baseload power and the other two forms of generation. Baseload plants are not only expensive to build, but they can take at least five years to construct.

A copy of the report is available at, http:// www.engineering.purdue.edu/iies/sufg.com.