Dairyland Power Cooperative to retire coal-fired power plant
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Dairyland Power Cooperative announced today that its Sustainable Generation Plan includes the retirement of the coal-fired Genoa Station #3 in mid to late 2021.
Our employees are Dairyland’s most valued resource,” said Barb Nick, President and CEO. “As we made this difficult decision, we did so with a deep appreciation for the contributions of our employees who have dedicated their talents and energy to help us deliver on our mission to our members.”
The closure of the power plant will impact about 80 employees. Dairyland will offer them programs, including a special retirement program for those eligible. Other programs will include skill development, internal placement opportunities and outplacement services to assist with the transition.
“Our employees work diligently to safely provide Dairyland’s members with sustainable, reliable and affordable electricity every day. We deeply respect and care for our employees and have developed programs to support and minimize impacts during this transition,” said Nick.
“This decision also aligns with our Sustainable Generation Plan and its focus on the continued addition of renewable resources,” said Nick. “The recently announced approval by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the Nemadji Trail Energy Center in Superior gives us the added confidence to take this next step to further diversify Dairyland’s resource mix and reduce our carbon intensity.”
Many factors are considered when making important business decisions regarding generation facilities. “These include age of the facility, system capacity requirements, regulatory requirements, projected maintenance needs and costs, fuel supply, overall cost of power production and regional market prices for energy,” said Nick.
The 345 megawatt G-3 power plant has reliably powered the region for more than five decades. The supercritical facility, which was brought online in June 1969, was designed to be highly efficient and uses low sulfur coal delivered by barge. “The fact that G-3 is operating at 50 years old is a testament to the dedication of Dairyland’s employees and decades of well -thought-out maintenance initiatives and planning,” said Nick.
“Dairyland practices the cooperative principle of commitment to community, and Genoa has been one of our communities for the past 75 years,” said Nick. “Dairyland will continue to have a significant presence in Genoa and intends to continue to be a good neighbor. We have long-term commitments to the transmission facilities, the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility and the boat landing. It is part of our core to support communities where we operate and serve and we are exploring other opportunities for economic development investments.”
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