HomeEnvironment & Climate NewsWE Energies, Alliant Energy Reverse Green Course, Will Keep Coal Plants Open

WE Energies, Alliant Energy Reverse Green Course, Will Keep Coal Plants Open

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(The Center Square) – Three coal-fired power plants across Wisconsin will stay open so utilities in the state can avoid  rolling blackouts this summer.

Both We Energies and Alliant Energies this week made separate announcements that they are keeping power plants in Oak Creek, Sheboygan and Portage online.

“The decision to postpone the retirement dates for these units is based on two critical factors: tight energy supply conditions in the Midwest power market and supply chain issues that will likely delay the commercial operation of renewable energy projects that are currently moving through the regulatory approval process,” said WE Energies president Scott Lauber said in a statement.

We Energies had planned to shut down its plant in Oak Creek starting next year. That has been pushed out until 2024 and into 2025.

Alliant is delaying its planned shutdown of the plant in Sheboygan from the end of this year until the end of 2025, and is delaying the closure of its plant in Portage until 2026.

“This is great news and common sense,” Eric Bott with Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin told The Center Square. “For the last several months we’ve had utilities and regulators telling us two things. We’re going to have blackouts and we’re shutting down power plants. Are you kidding me?”

Bott said the decision to stick with reliable power shows the flaws in the push to go green.

“These blackouts are being almost entirely driven by President Biden and Gov. Evers’ demand to transition to so-called green energy,” Bott added. “This move will not stop what may come this summer with a shortage of power or affordable power. But it sets us up to not make things worse for the coming years.”

Both WE Energies and Alliant say keeping their coal-fired power plants shouldn’t impact their plans to reduce their carbon emissions by 2050.

Bott said it will take a new focus on reliable and affordable energy to change that big-picture transition over the next few decades.

“The incentives for utilities are to build, build, and build,” Bott said “They are incentivized to shut down existing generation and build something new. And as long as you have this incredible pressure from the green lobby and  politicians, that won’t change.”

Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more on coal power, click here.

For more in Wisconsin environment and energy policy, click here.

Benjamin Yount
Benjamin Yount
Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square. 

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