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Utility Company Hopes To Expand Power Plant In Northeast Wisconsin

Electricity Provider Points To Increased Demand And Aging Facilities

Many coal-burning plants in northern Wisconsin are aging. | Photo: Seth Tisue (CC-SA)

Wisconsin Public Service is asking state officials for permission to expand a gas fired electricity plant in the Fox Valley.

The utility in northeastern Wisconsin contends that demand for power in the area is increasing and its current capacity is expected to decline. WPS is asking to add a 400-megawatt, gas-fired electric generator to its plant at the to the Fox Energy Center in Wrightstown.

“We’re going to be losing the generation out of several smaller, older, and less efficient power plants,” said Kerry Spees, a spokesman for WPS.

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Spees said coal fired plants in Wausau, Green Bay and Sheboygan will close in a few years but, he said expanding the Fox Energy Center will offset those losses.

“The footprint of the plant does not need to change. There’s a lot of acreage surrounding the plant,” Spees added. “We can put this new unit in and not make a bunch of difference. We’ve already held meetings with the neighbors.”

There will be more opportunities for public comment. If the Wisconsin Public Service Committee approves the plan later this year, construction could start in 2016.