We Energies, Domtar biomass plant decision to come soon

By Anna Austin | June 16, 2011

The verdict on whether a 50-megawatt, woody biomass-fired cogeneration plant in Rothschild, Wis., will move forward is still out, but a decision will be made soon.

Despite several reports that power utility We Energies and paper manufacturer Domtar Corp. had already begun construction of the plant, spokesman Barry McNulty said that was not the case, as Domtar is still mulling over the project’s revised financial plan.

Early in May, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved plans for the $255 million plant, but ordered the companies to come up with $10 million in additional concessions to lower the cost to We Energies’ ratepayers. A revised plan still under review by Domtar modifies the arrangement between the companies, and requires the company to increase its capital cost allocation of $22 million to $47 million, upping the steam payment to We Energies by 20 percent. That would save ratepayers about $2 million in annual capital recovery costs.

“We received approval and have indicated we’ll move forward with what’s necessary on our end, but we’re waiting for our partner (Domtar) to give its approval on moving forward,” McNulty said.

Domtar has taken the revised plan to its board of directors, which is expected to make a decision sometime in mid-June.




4 Responses

  1. Jack Stone



    They have begun, they have brought in the construction company, they have started to make changes, they have added cameras and more security, they have brought in some construction workers, electricians. I wonder what will happen when the judge looks at the DNR air permit and rules is should be called an incinerator? Then the excitment starts, will they add the pollution controls, or will they abandon the project?

  2. Bill Silva



    If any of the Massachusetts anti biomass ativists show up trying to stop this biomass plant, especially enviro attorney Meg Sheehan who led the fight in Mass. with her referendum, be sure to read the following blog article showing how her family foundation is heavily invested in fossil fuels:

  3. Jack Stone



    There is no energy shortage in Wisconsin projected for 10 years. There is an elementary school directly across the street This plant will burn toxic sludge from the paper mill, with trees The area has the 4th worst air in the state, and 4 coal fired power plants less than 1.5 miles away. This plant will cost tax payers almost 90 million, and rate payers will pay for construction and 12.7% additional cost. So, is it still worth it? I think we both know the answer to that :(

  4. Michael Fornetti



    This plant will be outfitted with the latest technology and will run with a very clean emissions profile. It is combined with a steam host which will result in increased efficiencies in the combined heat and power cycle. It supports local industry and most papermills would use the number of X 4 for enployment, very good for Wisconsin. Wood is renewable. Some folks will never accept that fact because they will never accept anybody ever cutting anything down. They would rather see it rot or burn. Anybody care to discuss uncontrolled emissions form a forest fire?


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