Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility and its co-owner utility partners have received final regulatory approval to upgrade the coal pulverizers and steam turbines at the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center. The upgrades approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin will help lower operating costs and improve the efficiency and reliability of the generating station located near Portage, Wis.
“This project will provide direct benefits to customers and is part of our overall energy resources strategy that puts a priority on investing in our newer and larger generating units,” said John Larsen, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility.
The Columbia Energy Center upgrade project includes replacing twelve pulverizers and upgrading two steam turbines installed when the plant was constructed in the 1970s. Installing this newer technology is designed to increase the plant’s operating capacity by nearly 10 percent, bringing more low-cost electricity to utility customers.
Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2015, with an anticipated completion in 2017. The investment in new technology and equipment is expected to be approximately $130 million and will be shared by Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility and the co-owners: Madison Gas and Electric Company, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.