WPL to Retire Three Coal Units, Tamp Down Pollution Emissions with New Controls

Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL) Co. plans to retire three of its oldest and smallest coal-fired generating units and invest $1.4 billion into the company’s generating fleet over the next five years to ensure it will be able to manage "current and emerging environmental regulations," the Alliant Energy Corp. subsidiary announced on Friday.

The Madison, Wis.-based generator plans to retire its Nelson Dewey Generating Station Units 1 and 2 in Cassville, Wis., which total about 200 MW, as part of a new energy resources strategy. It will also retire its 60-MW Edgewater Generating Station Unit 3 in Sheboygan, Wis. WPL also said it would decide between repowering to natural gas and retiring the Edgewater plant’s 330-MW Unit 4 by the end of 2018. That decision will likely be determined by future projections by regional grid operator the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator.

“The investments necessary for long-term safe, reliable operation of these impacted units just wouldn’t be cost-beneficial for our customers,” said WPL President John Larsen. “Therefore, WPL has made the decision to transition or retire these units as economics or environmental rules dictate.”

The energy resources strategy includes plans to buy the 600-MW combined cycle natural gas facility in Beloit, Wis., from Calpine Energy by the end of this year and installing a scrubber/baghouse system to tamp down sulfur dioxide emissions at Edgewater Unit 5 to comply with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Plans also outline building a $153 million selective catalytic reduction system at Edgewater Unit 5 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and adding sulfur dioxide and mercury reduction systems at Columbia Units 1 and 2 (including scrubbers, baghouses, and carbon injection systems) at a cost of $300 million.

Sources: POWERnews, WPL

—Sonal Patel, Senior Writer (@POWERmagazine)

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