Wisconsin Power and Light moves toward construction of Riverside expansion

Wisconsin Power and Light told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in a July 29 update that it is in pre-construction on a 650 MW new unit at its Riverside Energy Center Facility in Rock County, Wisconsin, with construction due to start next May.

The estimated cost of the approved project is $700 million, excluding AFUDC. As of July 29, the project is forecasted to be completed at the approved cost. WPL is part of Alliant Energy.

The contract with the engineering, procurement, and construct contractor, AECOM, was signed on June 7. On-site construction is anticipated to start in August 2016 with general earthwork, site preparation activities, and the expansion of the high capacity deep well.

All of the federal, state, and local permits required to start construction have been applied for or received. The only permit outstanding that the commission has required to start construction is the Town of Beloit Conditional Use permit, which is expected in mid-August. Other notable permits that have not been received as of June 30 include the WPDES waste water discharge permit (expected anytime), and the Rock County Shoreline Conditional Use Permit (expected by early August).

The focus of engineering is the modifications that need to be made to the existing high capacity collector well and supporting equipment. Since this well will be shared between the existing Riverside Energy Center and the new facility, the well capacity upgrade for the Riverside Expansion needs to be performed when the existing plant is out of service for maintenance.

Therefore, the well upgrade will occur in September-November 2016 while the existing Riverside units are out of service for a steam turbine major outage/overhaul. The upgrade includes the addition of five new 12 inch laterals of about 200 feet in length. After the underground work is completed, new electrical equipment (transformers, motor control centers, variable frequency drives, new pumps and motors) and new piping will all be installed upon completion of the outage work.


“-Specifications for electrical equipment and new pumps and motors pertaining to the well upgrade work have been issued for bid.

“-AECOM continues with final negotiations with major equipment suppliers General Electric (combustion turbine and steam turbine) and Nooter/Erikson (Heat Recovery Steam Generator).

“-AECOM continues to finalize contract terms with Building Craft Inc. (collector well expansion).

“-Multiple other specifications are under development to be issued for bid in the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

“-Miscellaneous minor work on-site is being performed.

The schedule from here includes:

“-Start of Construction – May 3, 2017

“-Commercial Operation – December 31, 2019

“-Final Completion – March 30, 2020

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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.

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