Alliant to Add More Generation in Wisconsin
As part of plan to ensure Wisconsin has enough generation in place to avoid a California-like power crisis in the years ahead, Alliant Energy, parent of Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL), unveiled a proposal to develop up to 800 MW of new electric power generation in Wisconsin over the next 10 years, including 500 MW of coal-fired, 100 MW of gas-fired generation by 2006, and an additional 200 MW of natural gas-fired generation by 2011. Alliant offered the proposal in comments submitted to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) on a compromise proposal by Wisconsin Electric (WE) and Customers First.
"There is no question that building more generation in Wisconsin is absolutely vital if our state is to avoid the energy crisis currently plaguing California," said WPL President Bill Harvey. "Through this proposal, Alliant Energy stands ready to do its part to help avoid a similar crisis here in Wisconsin." He said the plants would help meet projected increases in demand on WPL's system over the next 10 years and would help replace existing purchased power agreements. He also noted WPL expects to sign contracts with other new plants being built by independent power producers. The company filed a proposal last week that would establish incentives for Wisconsin utilities to buy power from new plants constructed in Wisconsin by IPPs.
"The key to electric reliability in Wisconsin is putting more generating iron in the ground," said Harvey. "We believe Wisconsin will best be served by a policy that encourages the construction of power plants by Wisconsin utilities, their affiliates and IPPs." He believes a robust wholesale generation market, with many suppliers and a strong, independent regional transmission system, will provide the best long-term insurance policy to protect Wisconsin's continued economic growth.
Harvey also said energy conservation and alternative energy sources must be key components of a state energy policy. "The potential energy crisis we face in Wisconsin, and throughout the country, requires that we use every arrow in our quiver. Distributed resource technologies, like microturbines, renewable energy sources, including co-firing with renewable fuels at older coal plants, and expansion of successful energy efficiency programs like 'Shared Savings,' all have a key role to play."
He said even with 42% growth in the company's "Shared Savings" program over the past five years, energy demand continues to outstrip both supply and efficiency efforts. Rocco Canonica
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