New coal handling facilities at Elm Road/Oak Creek plants are progressing

We Energies told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in an Aug. 3 quarterly update that a $75 million project to upgrade coal handling facilities at the adjacent Elm Road and Oak Creek power plants is well along on construction.

In June 2015, the commission had approved two applications:

  • a joint application of Wisconsin Electric Power, Madison Gas and Electric and WPPI Energy for a Certificate of Authority to upgrade various power block equipment at the Elm Road Generating Station to facilitate the use of sub-bituminous coals/Powder River Basin coals as a fuel source. Elm Road was designed to burn bituminous coal out of the Pittsburgh seam, while Oak Creek has used PRB coal for years; and
  • an application of Wisconsin Electric Power, Madison Gas and Electric and WPPI Energy for authority to construct a site bulk material handling project at the Oak Creek Power Plant and Elm Road Generating Station (ERGS).

The Aug. 3 update said about the status of engineering work for these projects:

  • Engineering is complete for the transfer towers and conveyors.
  • Engineering is complete for the site grading, coal pile liner and drainage basin.
  • Engineering is 95% complete for the coal pile drainage basin pump-house and coal pile dust suppression systems.

The status of construction is:

  • Construction started on Aug. 25, 2015.
  • Overall construction is approximately 63% complete.
  • Site has been cleared and grading is complete.
  • Relocation of the underground utilities, ATC transmission lines and service road is complete.
  • Installation of transfer towers, transfer tower conveyors, and interconnecting gates/chutes is complete.
  • Installation of the electrical feeders from ERGS and electrical substation is complete.
  • Construction of the underground reclaim bunker and tunnel, stacker conveyor and reclaim conveyor is in progress.
  • Installation of the pump-house and sediment basin is in progress.

The project is anticipated to be mechanically complete and ready for coal unloading by December 2016. The project is anticipated to be complete by fall 2017.

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.