Company to retire aging coal plant, build more wind, double biomass commitment, and increase energy efficiency, to reduce carbon ‘footprint’
MADISON, Wis., June 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT) , 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.
The proposed changes to WPL’s generation fleet will be filed with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) as part of WPL’s testimony filing related to the proposed expansion of the Nelson Dewey Generating Station, in Cassville, Wisconsin, and are subject to the approval of the PSCW. The details of the proposal are included in WPL’s testimony, being filed tomorrow with the PSCW.
“Alliant Energy is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in Wisconsin and throughout our service territory,” states Barbara Swan, President-WPL. “We believe our proposal addresses the critical balance of meeting important environmental objectives with the equally important goal of providing reliable and affordable power to our customers.”
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.
“We spend a lot of time reaching out to our customers, listening to what they want and what they can afford,” adds Swan. “Their two main concerns: protecting the environment while at the same time keeping the cost of electricity affordable. These are challenges we embrace as we head down a path to a greener future.”
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary focus. Wisconsin Power and Light, the company’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, serves approximately 450,000 electric and 175,000 natural gas customers. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com/.
This press release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified as such because the statements include words such as “believe,” “expected,” “projected,” “approximately,” “possible,” “estimated” or other words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe future plans or strategies, including all plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are also forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Actual results could be affected by such factors as: state regulatory actions or local government actions which delay, prevent or alter the proposed plans, including inability to obtain all necessary approvals and permits; inability to acquire additional wind farm sites; unanticipated construction issues, delays or expenditures including increased costs of labor, materials and equipment; failure of equipment and technology to perform as expected; current or future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries that could impede the implementation of WPL’s plans; political conditions in WPL’s service territories; changes to WPL’s access to capital markets; and economic conditions in WPL’s service territory. These factors should be considered when evaluating the forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and Alliant Energy and WPL undertake no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.