Alliant Energy unit wins regulators approval to acquire 600-MW Wisconsin gas plant

Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE:LNT) subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light Co. on April 5 said it has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to acquire the 600-MW combined cycle natural gas-fired Riverside Energy Center for about $392 million.

WPL is buying the gas plant, located in Beloit, Wis., from Riverside Energy Center LLC, a subsidiary of Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN). The facility began operation in 2004.

Currently, WPL has a purchase power agreement with Riverside Energy for about 500 MW. Under the agreement, WPL has the option to purchase Riverside Energy if it exercises the option on or before May 31.

WPL states that it is still evaluating the potential purchase and the PSC order. The company intends to make a decision whether to exercise its option to purchase Riverside Energy on or before May 31.

If WPL does exercise its option, closing is expected to occur by December 31.

“We believe purchasing the Riverside Energy Center will allow us to better manage our generation fleet to reduce our reliance on market purchases, manage costs for our customers and remain flexible for the future,” WPL President John Larsen said in a news release.