Alliant to retire aging coal plant, build more wind, double biomass commitment, and increase energy efficiency, to reduce carbon ‘footprint’

Posted on June 12, 2008. Filed under: Biomass, Carbon, Coal, Energy Efficiency, Generation Plants, Global Warming, Wind | Tags: |

From a media release issued by Wisconsin Power and Light, parent company of Alliant:

MADISON, Wis., June 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT – News), proposed today to reduce its generation fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by retiring a coal-fired generating unit, dramatically increasing its wind power portfolio, doubling its commitment to utilizing biomass, and aggressively building upon its energy efficiency measures, when its proposed expansion at the Nelson Dewey Generating Station becomes operable in 2013. . . .

As part of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction proposal, WPL would retire Edgewater Generating Station’s coal-fired unit 3. The facility is the oldest coal plant in WPL’s generation fleet. The company would also increase its commitment to develop new wind power resources. Previously the company had announced plans for approximately 300 megawatts of new wind by the end of 2010. Upon approval of the Nelson Dewey expansion, the company would add 200 megawatts to that total by the time the new facility begins commercial operation. While the sites for the future wind farms have not yet been determined, it is possible that one of the sites could be located in southwestern Wisconsin.

WPL would also double the amount of renewable resource fuels to be used at the new third unit of Nelson Dewey, to twenty percent. As a result of utilizing fuels such as switch grass, waste wood, or corn stalks, not only are CO2 emissions reduced by offsetting the use of coal at the facility, but Wisconsin farmers and foresters will have access to new economic markets, an ecologically friendly crop and better land and forest management practices. Analysis by researchers from the University of Wisconsin has shown that the 20 percent biomass at Nelson Dewey unit 3 could create economic development revenues for the State of Wisconsin to exceed an estimated $50 million annually.

This proposal, along with a fifty percent increase in WPL energy efficiency savings, is projected to more than offset the carbon emissions from the new Nelson Dewey unit. The potential increased capital costs associated with these changes in WPL’s generation fleet are expected to be $500-$550 million, and are contingent upon the company receiving all applicable regulatory approvals related to the expansion of the Nelson Dewey Generating Station.


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