WEC Energy Group, the parent company of We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service Commission, intends to retire a coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie next year.
Amy Jahns, a spokesperson at We Energies, said the company told the plant’s employees on Tuesday that it plans to close the plant in the second quarter of 2018.
“We are retiring the plant because of the economics of the energy market,” she said.
Specifically, Jahns cited the low cost of natural gas, reduced costs of generating renewable energy and low growth in electricity demand. She added that the company plans to continue employing as many of the 158 people who now work at the coal plant as possible.
The state’s largest utility company counts coal, natural gas and renewable energy such as wind and hydroelectricity among its sources of energy.
Officials at the Wisconsin chapter of the environmental group Sierra Club praised the decision to shut down the plant.
“This welcome announcement is yet another example of the inevitable shift to safer and more cost effective clean energy, and highlights why Wisconsin needs a proactive plan to shift to clean energy and invest in the people impacted,” Katt Reinders, a campaign representative with the environmental group, said in a statement.
Reinders also called for We Energies to clean up pollution at the site.Follow @alexzank