Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Utilities swap coal for gas cause mixed reviews

COO Scott Lauber said the company plans to add an additional 700 megawatts of solar generation and 500 megawatts of batteries to its portfolio.

Company officials did not directly discuss plans to build a 945-megawatt Weston coal-fired power plant near Wauzau, which is jointly owned by Dairyland Power and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a subsidiary of WEC.

Lauber said the company is assessing the gas flaring potential at the new block of the plant.

“So we will be evaluating this as an option in the next few years,” Lauber said. “But we understand that this is a very important part of the state, and we want to be sure of reliability in this place. We will continue to evaluate it. “

The reaction to the news was mixed.

The Southeast Wisconsin Clean Energy Coalition welcomed the decision to stop burning coal, but said gas was not an acceptable substitute.

“Switching to gas is half a step, not a complete step towards renewable energy, which is required by the climate crisis,” said Councilor Tom Rutkowski. “The resources allocated for the conversion of coal-fired power plants to burn gas are better spent on the transition to renewable energy sources and batteries.”

Don Wichert, a member of MGE’s cleaner energy shareholder group, said the move “appears to be a smart move to reduce emissions and costs,” but noted environmental concerns with gas.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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