Nelson Dewey Generating Facility

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} Wisconsin Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, has proposed a 300 MW coal plant at its existing Nelson Dewey facility in Cassville, near the Mississippi River. The plant would utilize circulating fluidized bed technology; 10% of fuel burned at the plant would be biomass.[1]

On June 5, 2007 – for the second time that year – the state Public Service Commission (PSC) sent back Alliant’s permit application, asking for more information on air emissions and other environmental issues. On Dec. 20, 2007, the PSC accepted Alliant’s application as complete; a decision on the application is expected by the end of 2008.[2]

In May, 2008, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassville plant. The EIS identified several serious impacts that would be caused at the Cassville location, including damage to the bed of the Mississippi River, harm to a rare species of mussels, and potential destruction of a 20-acre forest.[3]

The company has proposed an alternate site for their plant in Portage, Wisconsin.[4] According to the Sierra Club, a plant built at this location "would also have several negative environmental impacts, including posing a threat to the habitats of several endangered or threatened species."[5]

In November 2008, state regulators voted unanimously to reject the plant, citing concerns about global warming as well as the plant's $1.3 billion price tag, which had ballooned almost 60 percent from 2007 due to rising construction costs. The PSC noted that the likelihood of future regulations on carbon emissions will make it difficult for any new coal plant to be built in Wisconsin.[6]

Project Details

Sponsor: Wisconsin Power & Light (Alliant Energy)
Location: Cassville or Portage, Wisconsin
Capacity: 300 MW
Type: Circulating fluidized bed
Projected in service: 2013
Status: Cancelled


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  1. Alliant Proposes 300-MW Coal Unit in Wisconsin, Reuters UK, February 7, 2007.
  2. PSC Accepts Alliant's Coal Plant Application, Capital Times, December 21, 2007.
  3. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed June 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  4. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed June 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  5. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed June 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  6. PSC rejects Alliant Energy's proposed coal plant," Journal Sentinel, November 11, 2008.

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