Sparks fly over proposed Cassville power plant

Posted on August 8, 2008. Filed under: General |

From an article by Kevin Murphy in the Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA):

MADISON, Wis. — Alliant Energy was “disappointed” by portions of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cassville power plant, according to a spokesman, while an opponent of the project said it helps make their case.

Alliant spokesman Rob Crain said that the three-volume study released last week by the Public Service Commission and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources “doesn’t address” the improvements the Nelson Dewey 3 plant will have on relieving congested lines that bring power into the state.

“There’s a bottleneck on the transmission grid now in southwest Wisconsin. Nelson Dewey 3 relieves that bottleneck and allows for greater importing of power from the west,” Crain said.

Compared to neighboring states, Wisconsin has few interstate transmission lines linking it to power sources elsewhere. In response, a new high-voltage line was built to bring in power produced in Manitoba, and the Public Service Commission recently approved construction of a line from Illinois to Dane County.

The final EIS also “doesn’t address” Alliant’s carbon reduction plan proposed to offset Nelson Dewey’s emissions, Crain said. In exchange for approving the proposed plant, Alliant offered to close its oldest operating coal-fired power plant near Sheboygan, implement increased efficiency measures and double the amount of biomass fuel that will power Nelson Dewey 3 from 10 to 20 percent.

Clean Wisconsin spokesman Peter Taglia said the final EIS supports the organization’s position that the plant “makes no sense as it (is) too expensive to build,” and will emit more carbon when cleaner fuels are available.

Taglia cites numbers in the study that show at $1.2 billion to build, Nelson Dewey 3 will produce 300 megawatts of power. In comparison, the PSC authorized $2.3 billion in construction costs for WE Energies’ 1,250-megawatt plant currently being built south of Milwaukee.

Previous coverage of Cassville plans.


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