Governor Says No to Coal for State Heating Plants in Madison

MADISON—As the Department of Administration (DOA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison look at alternatives for fueling state-owned heating plants in Madison, Governor Jim Doyle said coal is not an option.

“The state should lead by example and move away from our dependence on coal at the state-owned heating plants in Madison,” Governor Doyle said today. “Global warming demands leadership and as we plan for the future of the Madison heating facilities, we must chart a course that lowers greenhouse gas emissions and encourages new alternative energy sources.”

The Governor’s directive to move away from coal at the Madison state-owned heating plants is consistent with the recent recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming that set aggressive emission reduction targets and increase reliance on home grown renewable power to help position Wisconsin as a national leader in climate change solutions.

Today a Comprehensive Heating Plant Feasibility Study was released that examined thirteen different options for the three existing state-owned heating plants in Madison and a possible new combined heating plant. The study looked at each option’s environmental qualities, reliability and economic implications. State and university officials will use the information in the study to determine how to heat and cool state agency buildings and the UW-Madison campus with lower emissions as economically as possible.

This study was part of an agreement reached last November. It required DOA and the University of Wisconsin to complete a feasibility study on the Charter Street Heating Plant and other state-owned heating plants in Madison. DOA and the University of Wisconsin will use the information in the study to develop a plan to heat and cool state agency buildings downtown and on the campus, with a goal of including the project in the state’s Capitol Budget early next year.

The state-owned heating/cooling plants include the Charter Street Heating Plant, the Walnut Street Heating Plant, the Capitol Heat & Power Plant and the West Campus Cogeneration Facility, which is jointly owned by the state and MGE. The state-owned facilities mainly provide steam to heat and cool state agency buildings and the UW campus in Madison.