Columbia Energy Air Quality Improvements Begun

A groundbreaking celebration has marked the start
of a large environmental technology project at the
Columbia Energy Center near Portage, Wisconsin.
Alliant Energy, along with the facility’s co-owners,
Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas and
Electric, are installing another air quality control
system at the facility. Utility employees were joined
by project contractors, labor leaders and federal,
state and local officials at the event.

The co-owners are building a selective catalytic
reduction (SCR) system at Unit 2 to reduce nitrogen
oxides by at least 50 percent. The total investment in
the environmental technology is approximately $110
million, and during construction, it is expected to
employ up to 100 workers. The project is scheduled
for completion by the end of 2018.

The SCR system is the second major air quality control
system installed at the Columbia Energy Center in
recent years. In 2014 baghouse and scrubber systems
were completed on both Units 1 and 2, and they are
reducing mercury and sulfur dioxide by over 90
percent from previous levels. These air quality
improvement projects at Alliant Energy’s largest
generating stations are part of an overall plan to move
toward cleaner energy. The plan also includes retiring
older and less efficient facilities, building the natural
gas-fueled Riverside expansion near Beloit, Wis.,
additional renewable energy and continued investments
in energy efficiency.

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