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PSC approves construction of biomass plant in Rothschild

We Energies, on Thursday, won approval from state regulators to build a proposed $255 million biomass plant in Rothschild that would burn waste from the Domtar Corp. paper mill. The plant would generate 50 megawatts of electricity. (Rendering courtesy of We Energies)

By Joe Yovino

We Energies won final approval from state regulators Thursday to build a $255 million biomass power plant on the site of a paper mill in Rothschild.

But the timing for shovels to hit the ground is still up in the air.

We Energies and Domtar Corp., the utility’s partner on the project, are reviewing conditions that regulators attached to the deal, We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said.

“(The PSC) will send over to us a 41-page document with numerous conditions,” he said. “We need to look at the special conditions and continue discussions with Domtar.”

The project was approved by a 3-0 vote of the commissioners Thursday, McNulty said.

We Energies in March 2010 filed an application to build the plant. McNulty said We Energies expects construction on the project to create more than 400 jobs during the 2 1/2-year building process and about 150 permanent jobs in fields supporting the operation of the biomass plant.

Work on the plant is expected to wrap up by late 2013.

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