Wisconsin Public Service Corp. burned less coal in 2011 than expected in part due to cheap natural gas, the company told the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in a March 28 filing.
In total, the 2011 monitored fuel and purchased power costs were lower by $0.66/MWh or 2.86% less than forecasted in the 2011 Fuel Cost plan, the company said. “The lower monitored cost is primarily due to lower purchased power prices for energy resulting from lower natural gas prices, additional generation resources (renewable and baseload) added to the MISO footprint, increased flexibility in the operation of WPSC’s generation fleet and increased purchases under the Dominion Energy Kewaunee purchased power agreement,” it added.
As a result of the lower price for purchased power, coal-fired generation was down and purchased power volumes were up, since it was more economic to purchase power than to generate with coal than was forecasted in the 2011 Fuel Cost Plan. This helped to reduce overall power supply costs. In addition opportunity sales revenue was up due to higher market demand, higher market prices (mainly in July/August) for power and high unit availability, which also helped to lower the average cost of monitored fuel costs for 2011.
The projected coal generation in 2011 from the Pulliam, Weston, Columbia and Edgewater plants had been 10,461,368 MWH at a fuel cost of $24.74/MWH. The actual figures for 2011 turned out to be 8,696,854 MWH at $24.75/MWH.
WPSC is a unit of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG).