MILWAUKEE, Wis., Nov. 1, 2001 Wisconsin Energy Corp. has created a subsidiary to design, permit, build and own the new in-state power plants that are proposed as part of the company’s Power the Future strategy.
Thomas H. Fehring, corporate secretary of WEC and Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas (WE-WG), has been appointed vice president and general manager of the new subsidiary, which will be named W.E. Power. Fehring will report to Richard A. Abdoo, WEC chairman, president and chief executive officer.
WE-WG has also announced two additional officer promotions that are critical to the management of on-going regulated utility operations. Scott A. Patulski, assistant vice president-Fossil Operations, and Gerald A. Abood, assistant vice president-Commodity Resources, have been promoted to vice president-Fossil Operations, and vice president-Commodity Resources, respectively, for WE-WG.
“As we move forward with Power the Future, it is vital that we focus on the flawless, efficient and effective execution of the plant construction portion of this plan,” Abdoo said. “It is equally important that we continue to focus on our current utility operations.”
The company has announced it will seek to build 2,800 megawatts (MW) of new, in-state generation, including two 500 MW combined cycle gas-fired units at the company’s existing Port Washington Power Plant site, and three 600 MW advanced technology, coal-based generation units at its Oak Creek Power Plant site. On October 17 the company received a limited Declaratory Ruling from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to proceed with advance planning for building the new electric generation.
WEC first announced the Power the Future proposal in September 2000, and an enhanced Power the Future plan in February 2001 following meetings with a diverse group of consumer, industry and labor groups. The $7 billion plan proposes building new generation, making improvements to existing power plants and upgrading the electric distribution system in Wisconsin. Fehring will lead the subsidiary that will design, permit, build and own the new electric generation. WEC has estimated that the construction of the new power plants will cost approximately $3 billion. At the time Power the Future was first announced, WEC was the only energy company in the country proposing to build significant new coal-based generating units.
The Power the Future plan must still undergo extensive regulatory review on engineering, cost and environmental issues. The company plans to file the necessary regulatory applications and environmental documentation associated with building the new electric generation, which will fall under purview of W.E. Power, later this year.
Fehring joined the corporation in 1970, and has served as WEC corporate secretary since 1997. During his time at WEC, Fehring has served in several capacities, developing broad experience in areas ranging from power plant engineering and operations to finance and corporate governance. He was responsible for the licensing, engineering and construction of the company’s Germantown Power Plant, and also managed the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. “Tom has a broad range of experience, and I am confident he will successfully guide the new subsidiary’s work,” Abdoo said.
“While customers and shareholders anticipate the benefits of our Power the Future plan, they also expect us to keep our current operations running smoothly and effectively,” Abdoo said. “It is absolutely critical that we continue to generate and deliver safe, reliable, reasonably priced energy to our customers. The promotions of Scott Patulski and Jerry Abood reflect our confidence in their abilities to manage the critical operations of the utility group.”
Additional management positions for W.E. Power will be announced over the next few weeks. The company will use a combination of direct selection and corporate announcements to identify the best candidates for the high-level managers who will report to Fehring. Candidate identification and selection for initial staffing requirements will be done on a fast-track basis.
“Much work needs to be done,” Abdoo said. “We want to have a W.E. Power team in place within a few weeks to tackle these assignments.”
Wisconsin Energy Corporation is a Milwaukee-based holding company with subsidiaries in utility and non-utility businesses. The company serves more than one million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and 960,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin through its utility subsidiaries – Wisconsin Electric, Wisconsin Gas and Edison Sault Electric. Its non-utility subsidiaries include energy development, pump manufacturing, waste-to-energy and real estate businesses. Visit the company’s Web site at www.WisconsinEnergy.com.