Wisconsin Public Service closes on buy of Fox Energy power plant

Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG) said March 28 that subsidiary Wisconsin Public Service Corp. (WPS) has closed its previously announced transaction to purchase Fox Energy Co. LLC from subsidiaries of General Electric and Tyr Energy.

The purchase included approximately $390m for the Fox Energy Center, a 593-MW combined cycle generating facility in Kaukauna, Wisc., and $50m for the early termination of the existing tolling agreement between the entities.

Fox Energy Center is a dual-fuel facility, equipped to use fuel oil but expected to run primarily on natural gas. Adding this plant to its portfolio will give WPS a more balanced mix of electric generation, including coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, wind, and other renewable sources, Integrys noted. Like other U.S. utilities, WPS is faced with shutting down or switching to natural gas a significant percentage of its coal-fired capacity due to impending clean-air mandates.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 29 signed off on the plan by WPS to buy the Fox Energy Center plant. Fox Energy is a single asset company that has engaged in the production and sale of electricity from the Fox plant. Fox Energy has sold this power under market-based rates and had no native load customers. Fox Energy’s principal customer is WPS, which purchased about 500 MW and associated energy from the Fox plant and supplied the natural gas used by the plant to generate that amount of electric power. Fox Energy had sold the energy equivalent of about 50 MW of the Fox plant’s output, related to the plant’s duct burning capability, in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) markets.

WPS had up to this purchase owned approximately 2,240 MW of summer seasonal capacity, and also purchased approximately 930 MW of summer seasonal capacity under long-term contracts which included the 500 MW purchase from the Fox plant.

The Fox combined-cycle facility has a summer rating of about 548 MW and a winter rating of around 638 MW. Based on summer conditions, the facility can produce about 500 MW (net) in combined-cycle operation, with an additional 50 MW of peaking capacity available with duct firing.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.