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Wisconsin Energy Grid Likely to be Less Coal-Fired in the Future

Wisconsin’s energy production is in line with national trends that show declining use of fossil fuel plants, in particular coal-fired plants. A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information  Administration found nearly all utility-scale power plants in the United States that have been retired over the past decade were powered by fossil fuels. Forty-seven percent of those were coal-fired generators.

The data on retired Wisconsin plants is in line with the national figures. We Energies announced in November it would close the Pleasant Prairie coal plant in Kenosha County in 2018.

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WEC GROUP CEO LEVERETT RECOVERING FROM STROKE

WEC Energy Group president and CEO Allen Leverett has been hospitalized following an apparent stroke.
The Board ofDirectors at the Milwaukee-based parent company of We Energies has voted to name Gale
Klappa, 67, to the interim role “until such time as Mr. Leverett is able to re-assume those responsibilities,”
the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Klappa has been serving
as non-executive Chairman. Leverett, 51, took over as CEO on May 1, 2016 when he was 49.

PSC Approves Brown County Bioenergy Project

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has approved a conditional $15 million Focus on Energy grant to BC Organics, LLC, for an innovative bioenergy system in Brown County. The system will produce renewable natural gas from dairy farm manure and other waste. The project will reduce the need to landspread raw manure, protect sensitive groundwater and surface waters in northeastern Wisconsin and provide positive economic benefits to participating farms.

At the direction of Governor Walker, the PSC, Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection collaborated to develop a request for proposals (RFP) on innovative anaerobic digester systems that could produce renewable energy, remove nutrients from manure, protect water quality, and reduce pathogens.

BC Organics was recommended unanimously by the evaluation team comprised of expert staff from the PSC, DNR, DATCP, UW-Madison and Focus on Energy. BC Organics must obtain all of the necessary state and local regulatory approvals before construction may begin and includes an odor control plan designed to minimize impacts on neighboring landowners.

The consortium consists of 24 members led by Wisconsin based Dynamic Concepts (Waukesha), along with WEC Energy Group (Milwaukee), US Biogas LLC (Plymouth), and BioStar  Organics, among other Wisconsin based firms.

The project’s proposed location is northeast of Holland, near Green Bay, and is co-located with a proposed landfill owned by Brown County.  It has commitments from nine Wisconsin farms with over 22,000 animal units, with the capability to expand to include additional farms in the future. The facility is expected to begin operations by January 1, 2019.

The project involves the construction of multiple anaerobic digesters with capability to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) from manure and food waste, and eventually landfill gas. The estimated energy output of 5.7 million therms is equivalent to the home heating needs for 7,600 Wisconsin homes. The RNG will be injected into the interstate natural gas pipeline system for use
as a heating and transportation fuel.

ENERGY RESEARCH CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES FIVE NEW MEMBERS

The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium has welcomed four new members to the
M-WERC team. SAS Institute, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas and Electric, OSIsoft and Tetra
Tech have all joined. M-WERC also thanked Kohler Company for their renewed support of
our organization. The SAS Institute is the world’s largest privately held software business
and is based out of Cary, North Carolina. They are a founding member of the Smart Cities
Technologies working group.

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