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We Energies closing 150-employee Pleasant Prairie plant

Posted at 8:22 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 19:29:24-05

PLEASANT PRAIRIE -- We Energies is closing its coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie in the second quarter of next year.

"It was a decision we put a lot of thought into, and what's driving that decision is the economics of the energy market and customer demand," said the company spokesperson Amy Jahns. 

Jahns said there's been little to no growth in customer demand for power, and that it's currently more cost-efficient to use natural gas.

According to Jahns, closing the plant in Pleasant Prairie will help to reduce the company's carbon emissions and preserve the diversity of its fuel sources. 

She added service to customers in the area, as well as their electric bill rates, should not be impacted. 

The announcement of the plant closure comes after Foxconn Technology Group finalized plans with the state to build a massive, LCD display manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant. 

Jahns said We Energies will still be able to provide ample power to Foxconn. 

“Of course we took Foxconn into consideration when we made this decision, and we anticipate we’ll have enough capacity to provide reliable service to Foxconn,” Jahns said. 

We Energies will continue to generate power at its coal plant in Oak Creek, as well as the Paris Generating Station in Kenosha County. 

The company will also work hard to keep as many of the more than 150 workers at the Pleasant Prairie plant as it can, Jahns said. 

She added We Energies is still weighing what to do with the 425-acre property the Pleasant Prairie facility sits on. 

“We do plan to take down the buildings and the equipment in that area,” Jahns said.