Wisconsin utility plans 650-MW gas addition at Riverside plant

Alliant Energy‘s (NYSE: LNT) Wisconsin utility subsidiary on Nov. 6 unveiled plans to expand its Riverside Energy Center by building a combined cycle, natural gas-fueled facility near Beloit, Wis.

The expansion would replace several older generating units in Wisconsin slated for retirement in the next few years. The expanded Riverside facility is expected to power more than 500,000 homes, with operations planned to begin in early 2019.

“An investment in new, highly efficient natural gas generation provides significant environmental benefits to Wisconsin, brings hundreds of construction jobs to the state and delivers an economic boost to the region,” said Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO.

“Having access to reliable, flexible, around-the-clock power that a combined cycle energy center offers will be a direct benefit to our customers,” said John Larsen, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility. “We are excited to bring advanced performing, highly efficient natural gas technology to Wisconsin.”

Larsen added: “We are initiating plans that reflect our commitment to the environment, while at the same time implementing innovative, reliable generation to meet the long-term needs of our customers. As part of our long-term planning, the Riverside Energy Center will also be evaluated for the integration of solar energy as we continue to expand our renewables portfolio.”

Alliant Energy expects to file for regulatory approval of the 650-MW facility with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in early 2015. Once Alliant Energy receives approval, construction is expected to begin in 2016. The estimated project investment is approximately $725m-$775m, not including AFUDC and related transmission needs. A more specific estimate will be included in the regulatory filing.

Alliant’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL), utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The Wisconsin utility is based in Madison, Wis., and provides electric service to 460,000 customers and natural gas service to approximately 182,000 customers in more than 600 communities across central and southern Wisconsin.

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.