Ground broken on new SCR for Columbia coal plant in Wisconsin

An Oct. 10 groundbreaking celebration marked the start of a large environmental technology project at the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center located near Portage, Wisconsin.

Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT), along with the facility’s co-owners, Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas and Electric, are installing another air quality control system at the facility.

“This project will further the plan to provide cleaner, cost-competitive and more efficient energy from the Columbia Energy Center to our customers.” said Terry Kouba, Alliant Energy Vice President–Generation Operations. “We are working to ensure that Wisconsin has the energy it needs to grow while minimizing our impact on the environment.”

The co-owners are building a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system at Unit 2 to reduce NOx emissions by at least 50%. The total investment in the environmental technology is approximately $110 million, and during construction, it is expected to employ up to 100 workers. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.

The SCR is the second major air quality control system installed at the Columbia Energy Center in recent years. In 2014, baghouse and SO2 scrubber systems were completed on both Units 1 and 2, and they are reducing mercury and SO2 by over 90% from previous levels. These air quality improvement projects at Alliant Energy’s largest generating stations are part of an overall plan to move toward cleaner energy. The plan also includes retiring older and less efficient facilities, building the natural gas-fueled Riverside expansion near Beloit, Wis., additional renewable energy and continued investments in energy efficiency.

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.