Green Bay, WI – Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), has filed with the MidContinent Independent System Operator to retire two of the four currently operating coal-fired electric generating units at the J.P. Pulliam Plant in Green Bay, WI. If approved, Pulliam units 5 & 6 will be retired by July 2015. The units were built in 1949 and 1951, respectively, and generate a combined 112 megawatts. Pulliam units 7 & 8, built in 1958 and 1964, respectively, will continue to operate at the plant, generating about 200 megawatts. Also operating at the plant, when needed, is an 82-megawatt natural gas peaking turbine.
Earlier, WPS announced an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that called for Pulliam units 5 & 6 to be repowered, refueled, or retired. Current electric market conditions include generation from more efficient and larger coal and natural gas units reducing the opportunities for Pulliam 5 and 6 to operate.
“Pulliam 5 & 6 served our customers well for more than 60 years,” said Paul Spicer, WPS Vice President – Electric Supply. “In the current regional energy market, however, only the most efficient plants operate 24 hours every day as these units were designed. Converting the units or adding expensive environmental controls to keep them running just isn’t in our customers’ best interests.”
WPS anticipates the unit closures to affect approximately 10 positions. The company expects to reach modified staffing levels through normal attrition and/or by applying provisions of the local collective bargaining agreement.
Decisions on the disposition of WPS coal-fired Weston units 1 & 2 near Wausau, WI, will be made later this year. Weston 1, built in 1954 generates 60 megawatts of electricity, while unit 2, built in 1960 generates 75 megawatts.