PSC to Review 550MW Natural Gas Plant Site

In 2019, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) will evaluate the proposed site near Superior, WI for the 550MW, $700 million combined-cycle natural gas plant, Nemadji Trail Energy Center, recently approved by Minnesota’s utility commission. While Minnesota’s PUC considered the need for the plant, Wisconsin regulators will only consider the siting,  because it will be owned by an independent producer, not formally owned by the utility, Dairyland Power.

Minnesota Power, targeting 44 percent renewables by 2025, and Dairyland Power Cooperative, targeting 21 percent renewables by 2027, would co-own the plant, submitting that they need reliable generation for times when renewable resources are unavailable. Environmental and industry groups oppose the plant due to large costs, excess capacity, and the goal of moving to clean energy, and offer that investments in energy efficiency or a smaller plant would better suit the energy needs of the area, since Nemadji will not help retire any coal plants. The PSCW review may take one year and will allow opportunities for public comment. Midwest Energy NewsLa Crosse Tribune