Sept. 30, 2002 — We Energies will voluntarily reduce emissions at its power plants over the next 10 years as part of an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Multi-Emission Cooperative Agreement (MECA) calls for We Energies to invest $400 million-$600 million in environmental improvements to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury from its power plants by 45-50, 60-65 and 50 percent respectively. The agreement was signed Monday at the Oak Creek Power Plant.
“This agreement means cleaner air for our state,” said Kristine Krause, Wisconsin Energy Corp. vice president – environmental. “It is possible to produce reliable supplies of electricity and improve the environment. This investment in our existing plants will reduce our emissions and help meet both today’s and tomorrow’s clean air standards.”
“With this agreement, We Energies is pledging major investments in air quality that will generate significant environmental benefits,” said Darrell Bazzell, Department of Natural Resources Secretary. “It’s not every day that a company volunteers to cut its air emissions in half. It’s a terrific step in the right direction. I’m thrilled to see this company step forward voluntarily and demonstrate real leadership to help us address the significant problems we face.”
At the same time MECA is being signed in Oak Creek, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be naming We Energies a “Climate Leader” in a ceremony in Chicago for the company’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We Energies continues to be at the forefront of the global climate change issue. As a participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Climate Challenge, We Energies has recorded in excess of 27 million tons of greenhouse gas reductions since 1995.
“It’s an honor to join the Climate Leader initiative and it reinforces the environmental improvements we are making at We Energies,” said Krause. “Our partnership with the EPA Climate Leaders and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will only strengthen our commitment to addressing the issues of greenhouse gas and other air emissions.”
We Energies’ air emission reductions complement Wisconsin Energy’s Power the Future plan. The $7 billion proposal includes $1.3 billion for upgrading existing power plants. MECA and the Power the Future plan address several environmental challenges the company faces such as mercury deposition, ozone non-attainment, acid rain, fine particles, and climate change.
“We are committed to improving the environmental performance of our power plants,” said Krause. “We live and work in Wisconsin and we want a clean environment for ourselves and for our customers. The Multi-Emission Cooperative Agreement provides a means to achieve environmental benefits for the state in a cost-effective manner.”
In exchange for the voluntary emission reductions, the DNR will provide some regulatory flexibility including permit streamlining, reduced administrative requirements, and alternative monitoring and enhanced corrective action procedures. MECA is similar to the successful cooperative agreement that has been in place at We Energies’ Pleasant Prairie Power Plant for the past two years.
Emission reductions at We Energies’ power plants may be achieved by adding emission control equipment, making changes in fuel choices, and re-powering existing power plants.
We Energies, the principal utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC – News), serves more than one million electric customers and more than 970,000 natural gas customers throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Visit the company’s Web site at www.we-energies.com . Learn about Wisconsin Energy Corp. by visiting www.WisconsinEnergy.com .
Source: We Energies