MILWAUKEE, Wis., Feb. 1, 2002 — Wisconsin Energy Corp. announced today the company has filed its detailed application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for approval to build 2,800 megawatts (MW) of new electric generation in the state.
Called the Power the Future plan, WEC estimates that building the new electric generation will create about 1,200 construction jobs in the area.
“This is the largest building project in the history of Wisconsin,” said Richard A. Abdoo, WEC chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are cautiously optimistic that our plan will be approved later this year. The timing is critical because we need to begin building the first natural gas-fueled unit early next year so that it is in service and ready to meet our customers’ electric energy needs before the summer of 2005.”
In the application filed today, WEC proposes building two 500 MW natural gas-fueled units at its existing Port Washington Power Plant site, and three 600 MW coal-fueled units at its Oak Creek Power Plant site. The total cost of building the new electric generation is estimated to be $3 billion. Other highlights of the Power the Future application filed today include:
* Building new electric generation will create 1,200 construction jobs requiring approximately 15 million work hours at a total labor payroll of over $1 billion.
* Creating about 200 permanent labor-represented operations and maintenance jobs once the new power units are in operation.
* Building coal-fueled units that can save customers about $1 billion over the lifetime of the power units when compared to “natural gas only” electric generation.
* Using a diverse fuel mix to guard against the impact of fuel commodity price spikes and to provide long-term energy price stability.
* Using existing power plant sites and existing infrastructure.
* Replacing older, less efficient, coal plants with newer, more efficient natural gas- and coal-fueled generating units.
* Using state-of-the-art emissions control technology, generating more electricity while reducing overall emissions to meet or exceed the latest federal and state environmental standards.
* Expanding conservation measures and renewable energy sources.
* Continuing oversight by regulatory body, PSCW, over the operation of electric generating units.
* Making electric power available to other Wisconsin utilities, cooperatives and power marketing associations.
The filing follows several weeks of discussions with representatives from the Customers First! Coalition. The discussions emphasized the growing urgency in addressing Wisconsin’s energy needs, and how the company’s Power the Future plan could best meet those needs by balancing customer, economic and environmental concerns.
The application filed with the PSCW describes in detail how the new generation would be designed, built and owned by a WEC subsidiary, W.E. Power, LLC, established especially for this project. W.E. Power will lease the plants to Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas, the regulated utility of WEC, for a 20- to 25-year period. Utility employees will operate and maintain the new units as part of the lease agreement. The PSCW will have oversight over the operation of the generation units.
With the application filed, WEC will be working to secure a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the PSCW. The company must also receive several different environmental permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources. As part of the PSCW’s review and approval process, public hearings and comment periods will be scheduled.
A summary of WEC’s Power the Future filing is available at www.powerthefuture.net.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC) 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, recycling and renewable energy, and real estate businesses. Visit the Web site at www.WisconsinEnergy.com