Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT) said March 31 that the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) has given verbal approval for the company’s Wisconsin utility to move ahead with the 700-MW Riverside natural gas expansion project.
The 3-0 preliminary approval was by the PSC on March 31. The written order has yet to be issued for the natural gas combined-cycle facility, but should come within a few weeks, a spokesperson said.
The $700m project is scheduled to break ground this fall, with construction ramping up in the spring of 2017. The project being built by Alliant utility subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL) should be in service in early 2020, Alliant said in a news release.
The Riverside expansion will replace approximately 640 MW of older, less-efficient Wisconsin coal and gas units that are being retired by 2020.
It will be built near Alliant Energy’s existing 675-MW, natural gas-fired generating station. When completed, the Riverside expansion will be capable of powering more than 535,000 homes.
PSCW approval is conditional on Alliant Energy obtaining other state and federal permitting approvals necessary to construct, operate, and connect the Riverside Expansion to the transmission system.
The estimated project cost of $700m excludes transmission and allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC).
“This is a major step forward as the Riverside project is a critical part of our mission to provide reliable, cost-effective energy to our customers for many years to come,” said Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO Patricia Kampling of the natural gas and solar-integrated facility. “This highly efficient generating station will modernize our generating operations and further our transition to cleaner energy sources.”
The Riverside Energy Center expansion was first announced in late 2014.