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Wisconsin Public Service needs to build new power plant by 2019


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service says there's a need to build a new power plant by 2019.

Integrys Energy Group, Inc. chief administrative officer Larry Borgard revealed that to investors this week in New York.

Integrys Energy Groups, Inc. is WPS's parent company.

"We're always considering all the options in trying to provide the best way we can to meet growing customer demands in the future," says Integrys spokesman Todd Steffen. "Our electric generation strategy is continually evolving."

Officials say the new plant would be needed after WPS shuts down coal-fired plants which are getting older and causing more pollution than today’s more efficient facilities.

Steffen says the company would decide in the next year or two on a new overall plan. Media reports suggest three potential sites in Northeast Wisconsin, but Steffen wouldn't confirm that.

"We have existing sites, we have new sites, there's a whole gamut of different opportunities and options that we are looking at," says Steffen, who added that the shuttered Kewaunee Power Station apparently isn't being looked at. "There's probably not a very strong chance that we would even consider that option."

Officials said the plant was closed because it could no longer compete with gas-fired plans for low production prices.

WPS recently bought a gas-fired plant in Kaukauna to replace the power it was buying from Kewaunee. The utility reached a settlement with the federal EPA to either close or use cleaner energy for its oldest coal-fired boilers in the Wausau and Green Bay areas. 

(Information from Wheeler News Service included within the story)