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We Energies delays closing Oak Creek coal plants, citing costs and supply chain problems

we energies
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 16:08:48-04

OAK CREEK, Wis. — We Energies is postponing shutting down its aging Oak Creek coal-fired power plants, saying the strained energy market and supply chain issues make it difficult to invest in renewable energy right now.

Two units in Oak Creek, which were built in the 1950s and '60s, will now be retired in May of 2024 - one year later than previously announced. Two more units will close in late 2025, 18 months delayed, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

The company says even though the units are 60-plus years old, they have been updated with modern environmental controls, and have a total capacity of 1,100 megawatts to help power much of Southeast Wisconsin.

In November of 2020, We Energies first promised to shut down the old units. In their place, the company wants to invest $3.5 billion in solar, wind and battery-storage projects across Wisconsin in the next few years.

Its environmental goals include a 60 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from its power plants by the end of 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by the end of 2030.

The first issues with the transition emerged in May of this year when executives said they anticipated delays in renewable energy equipment and cost spikes of at least 20 percent.

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