Wisconsin Electric plans 2014 PRB burn at one Elm Road unit

Wisconsin Electric Power is projecting a coal burn of nearly 9 million tons in 2014 at its Wisconsin plants, with the new-ish Elm Road Unit 2 projected to burn an 80%-20% mix of bituminous and sub-bituminous coal during the year.

Wisconsin Electric Power gave those details in an Oct. 8 filing with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. State law says utilities have to maintain a 1.2 lbs/SO2 emissions limit, so they have to file yearly reports with the commission about how they plan to comply with that limit in the upcoming year.

The plan for an 80%-20% mix of bituminous and sub-bituminous at Elm Road Unit 2 is notable because the utility has permitted test burns of such a fuel mix at the Elm Road plant. The Elm Road plant, both units of which came on-line around the end of 2010, was designed to burn bituminous coal, mainly from the Pittsburgh seam in Northern Appalachia. But the utility now wants to see if it can use cheaper Powder River Basin sub-bituminous coal at the plant, like it does at the neighboring Oak Creek Units 5-8. Elm Road Unit 1, on the other hand, is shown as burning just bituminous coal in 2014.

Another point of note is that the Valley plant in Milwaukee is due for a coal-to-gas conversion project for clean-air reasons. WEPCO plans to complete the conversion of Unit 1 in 2014 and the conversion of Unit 2 in 2015, so 2014 would be the last full year of coal operation for one or both of these units.

The utility’s Wisconsin coal units, their capacities and their projected 2014 coal burns by ton are:

  • Oak Creek Unit 5 (214 MW), 757,026 tons;
  • Oak Creek Unit 6 (224 MW), 732,698;
  • Oak Creek Unit 7 (269 MW), 796,279;
  • Oak Creek Unit 8 (269 MW), 786,702;
  • Pleasant Prairie Unit 1 (594 MW), 2 million;
  • Pleasant Prairie Unit 2 (594 MW), 2.1 million;
  • Valley Unit 1 (140 MW), 117,627;
  • Valley Unit 2 (140 MW), 268,352;
  • Elm Road Unit 1 (528 MW), 391,659;
  • Elm Road Unit 2 (528 MW), 945,182; and
  • Milwaukee County (10 MW), 67,558.
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.