Lower Fuel Costs Could Offset We Energies Price Increase

Lower natural gas and coal costs could offset most of a small price hike that is set to hit electricity bills of We Energies customers next year. The utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission to reduce by more than $17 million the amount it wants to spend for fuel burned in its power plants.
Lower natural gas prices are expected compared with this year, and lower costs to deliver coal by train to Wisconsin are now expected. In addition, the utility is forecasting $8 million in savings because more of the coal burned at its new power plant in Oak Creek will be less-costly coal mined in Wyoming, he said.
The plant was designed to burn coal mined in the eastern United States, but the utility is testing the ability of the plant to burn more western coal. Those reductions offset several increases in costs that the utility is expecting, including $4 million in higher costs to buy power from the Point Beach nuclear plant and higher costs of chemicals used in air pollution control equipment at coal-fired power plants. The fuel-cost savings would amount to 51 cents a month for a typical customer now paying $101.72 a month, according to We Energies.

Wisconsin Energy Receives Final Approval for Acquisition

Wisconsin Energy Corporation’s acquisition of Integrys
Energy Group has now received approval from the Illinois
Commerce Commission, the final step needed to complete
the $9.1 billion transaction. The acquisition will expand
Wisconsin Energy’s service territory into Illinois and
Minnesota and gas service into Michigan.

WE ENERGIES LOOKS TO REDUCE BAT FATALITIES NEAR TURBINES

An estimated 40 bats die annually per wind turbine at the Blue
Sky Green Field Wind Farm east of Fond du Lac, and WE Energies
wants to finds ways to reduce that number without greatly
curtailing electricity production. Multiplied by BSGF’s 88 wind
turbines, an estimated 3,250 bats die annually since operations
began in 2008, according to a 2009 WE Energies commissioned
study. Beginning next month, WE Energies will study how bat
fatalities can be reduced by lowering the speed at which the
turbine blades begin to spin and adding acoustical monitors to
detect the chirping sounds bats emit.

PSCW APPROVES WE ENERGIES’ ACQUISITION OF INTEGRYS

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has issued written
approval of the acquisition of Integrys Energy Group of Chicago
by Wisconsin Energy of Milwaukee. The $9.1 billion deal was
previously approved by federal and Michigan regulators and
shareholders of each company. It requires approval by regulators
in Illinois and Minnesota. Integrys owns natural gas distribution
companies in each of those states.

We Energies Buys Menomonee Valley Site

We Energies has purchased vacant land near its Menomonee
Valley power plant. The company purchased 9.4 acres from
former Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation owner John
Stollenwerk, for $1.35 million. The company said it bought
the property to expand the perimeter around the plant.
The company has also purchased several properties near its
Oak Creek power plant to expand the perimeter of that facility.
That created a buffer zonebetween the Oak Creek plant and
nearby homes.

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