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News Release

Air quality improvement project completed at one of state’s largest power plants

Ribbon cutting today at Columbia Energy Center celebrating cleaner Wisconsin air and energy

MADISON, Wis. – July 14, 2014 – Wisconsin will benefit from cleaner and more efficient energy with the completion of a large air quality improvement project at the Columbia Energy Center near Portage, Wis. Alliant Energy and its co-owner partners, Madison Gas & Electric Co. and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., have installed environmental technology at the power plant that will reduce sulfur dioxide and mercury at the plant by approximately 90 percent.

Today, a ribbon-cutting event was held to mark the end of construction and official start-up for baghouse and scrubber systems that were added to both Columbia Units 1 and 2.

“This is one of the largest environmental projects ever built at a Wisconsin power plant, and we are pleased that it came in on schedule and better than budget,” said John Larsen, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility. “The strong partnerships we had with labor, the plant co-owners, our contractors and the communities surrounding the plant were impressive and made this a quality project.”

The utility co-owners were joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by state and local officials, as well as representatives of the many craft labor unions that worked on the project. The estimated final project cost is just under $600 million and it employed an average of 300 to 400 workers during installation and drove the purchase of millions of dollars of materials from Wisconsin businesses over the course of its three-year construction.

“Alliant Energy’s investments in air quality improvement systems will exceed $1.4 billion through 2017. We are adding more natural gas generation, and renewables remain an important part of our generation strategy,” said Patricia Kampling, Chairman, President and CEO of Alliant Energy. “We are also making great progress in our stewardship of the environment, and our company is well on its way to transforming our generating fleet to one that has fewer, cleaner and more efficient units.”

Earlier this month, Alliant Energy and its Columbia Energy Center co-owner utility partners made a request to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to install a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system on Columbia Unit 2. This additional proposed air quality improvement technology would reduce nitrogen oxide by approximately 50 percent.


Media Contact: Scott Reigstad, (608) 458-3145