MILWAUKEE, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ — We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric and Wisconsin Public Power today announced a significant new commitment to environmental initiatives. They include reductions in greenhouse gases, investments in additional renewable energy resources, funding to protect Lake Michigan’s ecosystem and the retirement of older, less-efficient generation.
“Coupled with other initiatives we have under way, our three utilities are taking a leadership role in providing cost effective energy, maintaining fuel diversity and protecting the environment,” said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer of We Energies.
The commitments announced today include:
— Greenhouse gas emission reductions — Support legislation to increase Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Standard to 10 percent by 2013 and 25 percent by 2025, as found in the Final Report of the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force
— Long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions — invest $5 million to implement projects consistent with the Final Report of the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force
— Biomass generation — seek regulatory approval to construct 50 megawatts (MW) of non-food crop biomass generation in Wisconsin
— Solar generation — seek regulatory approval for 15 MW of new solar generation which would be developed by providing incentives for customers to install solar capacity, purchasing solar energy output from other generators or constructing solar generation facilities
— Protect Lake Michigan — seek regulatory approval to dedicate $4 million annually for 25 years toward projects that will address water quality issues in Lake Michigan such as invasive species, polluted runoff, toxic loadings and habitat destruction
— Retire older less-efficient coal — retire an additional 116 MW of coal capacity from two generating units at the Presque Isle Power Plant in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by no later than the end of 2012
— Conservation and energy efficiency for public buildings — invest in energy efficiency projects for public buildings that are consistent with the recommendations of the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force
— Reporting of greenhouse emissions — provide useful information to customers and the public regarding annual greenhouse gas emissions
These environmental initiatives are the key elements of a settlement agreement with Clean Wisconsin and Sierra Club, the two groups that were opposing the water intake permit for the expansion units at the Oak Creek Power Plant site. Under the settlement agreement, the groups will withdraw all legal opposition to the permit.
We Energies serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. Its electricity prices are approximately seven percent below the national average. We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas LLC, the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE:WEC) . Visit the We Energies Web site at http://www.we-energies.com/. Learn more about Wisconsin Energy Corporation by visiting http://www.wisconsinenergy.com/.
Madison Gas & Electric (NASDAQ:MGE) generates and distributes electricity to 136,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 140,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE’s roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years. Visit the MGE Web site at http://www.mge.com/.
Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) is a regional power company serving 49 customer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.
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Source: We Energies