Dairyland Power Cooperative will shutter one of its two coal-fired generating plants in Alma, WI.
The La Crosse, WI-based utility cited the age of the facility as well as demand, market prices and regulations as reasons for the closure, which will also help Dairyland meet its 2025 goal to produce a quarter of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Currently about 88 percent of Dairyland’s power comes from fossil fuels.
Some of the 29 employees at the Alma plant will end up offered other positions within the company while others will most likely take early retirement, said Dairyland spokeswoman Katie Thomson.
Dairyland will continue operating the newer and larger John P. Madgett station in Alma, along with its other coal plant in Genoa. The company also holds a 30 percent stake in Wisconsin Public Services’ newest Weston coal-fired plant near Wausau.
Thomson said the closure is an indefinite suspension of operations and the company has no immediate plans for the structure.
Dairyland once operated five boilers at its Alma location. It previously shut down three older coal-burning units in December 2011.
The two boilers that will shutdown came online in 1957 and 1960, the two Alma Station burners had a combined 136 megawatt capacity. The Madgett station, by comparison, can produce up to 400 megawatts.