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Generation reshaping plan includes solar project, coal plant closures

We are committed to balancing reliability and affordability with good environmental stewardship.

As part of that effort, we continue to work with industry partners, environmental groups and state leaders to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. The focus is to continue a balanced electric generation mix while taking the following actions:

  • Retiring older, less efficient coal-fueled units
  • Building advanced technology natural gas units
  • Investing in cost-effective, zero-carbon, renewable generation

These changes are driven mainly by sustained low natural gas prices; a large reduction in renewable generation cost, particularly solar; and limited to flat growth in electricity demand. Electric market prices are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future, and the planned plant retirements and new investments will better balance supply with demand.

Retiring coal-fueled units

We began reducing CO2 emissions from coal-fueled generation through the conversion of the We Energies Port Washington Power Plant (now Port Washington Generating Station) and Valley Power Plant to natural gas in 2005-08 and 2014-15, respectively.

Combined, We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) retired more than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled generation since 2018:

  • 200-MW WPS Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • 100-MW We Energies share of Edgewater 4 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • 1,190-MW We Energies Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
  • 350-MW We Energies Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan

Adding natural gas units

Our subsidiary in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Upper Michigan Energy Resources, added 183 MW of natural gas-fueled reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) generation in March 2019. WPS is evaluating the addition of 50 MW of the modular, reliable and flexible RICE generation in Marinette, Wisconsin, in the future.

Investing in renewable energy generation

About 26% of the electricity used by We Energies and WPS customers comes from carbon-free sources.

Active programs/projects

  • 162-MW Glacier Hills Wind Park (We Energies)
  • 145-MW Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center (We Energies)
  •   99-MW Crane Creek Wind Farm (WPS)
  •   89-MW hydroelectric system at 13 dams (We Energies)
  •   82-MW hydroelectric system at 17 dams (WPS)
  •   61-MW Forward Wind Park (WPS)
  •   30-MW Montfort Wind Energy Center (We Energies)

Developing programs/projects

  • 150-MW Dedicated Renewable Energy Resource pilot (We Energies)
  • 100-MW Badger Hollow Solar Farm (WPS)
  • 100-MW Two Creeks Solar Project (WPS)
  • 35-MW Solar Now pilot (We Energies)

Reshaping our generating fleet through retirement of coal-fueled units, addition of natural gas units and investment in renewable energy will preserve fuel diversity while reducing both costs to customers and carbon emissions.