Gov.-elect Scott Walker on Thursday requested Department of Administration Secretary Daniel Schooff reverse course on a series of Gov. Jim Doyle’s initiatives.
Among them, in a letter hand-delivered to Schooff’s office, Walker asked the secretary to “begin making plans to shift to natural gas rather than bio-fuel at the Charter Street Power Plant” in Madison.
The state is in the middle of a $250 million project that will convert the Charter Street plant, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, from a coal-burning operation to one that generates electricity using biomass and natural gas.
It is unclear based on Walker’s letter whether he understood the plant would be producing energy using natural gas, or if he was calling for a complete halt to any use of biomass fuel. A spokesperson for Walker did not respond to a request for comment.
Schooff responded to Walker’s letter with a letter of his own, saying, “obviously, you have not had the opportunity to be briefed on these items.”
“The Charter Street Plant, on which work has begun, has natural gas capabilities along with the biomass fuel purchased from Wisconsin farmers and foresters,” Schooff added.
Messages left at the Department of Administration were not immediately returned Thursday.
Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, is a member of the state Building Commission, which approved the Charter plant project. Hintz said it wasn’t clear to him what Walker was asking for.
“I don’t know if it would require a substantive change to the project,” Hintz said. “The whole thing wasn’t going to run on biomass.”