$1.9 billion Power the Future plan generates 1,000 union construction jobs
MILWAUKEE, Wis., Feb. 18, 2001 Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE:WEC) and the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council announced this morning they have reached a labor agreement for the proposed construction of two 600 megawatt (MW) coal-fired electric generating units at the Oak Creek Power Plant and a 500 MW natural gas-fired electric generating unit at the Port Washington Power Plant.
With an estimated cost of $1.9 billion dollars, the power plants proposed in the Power the Future plan would be the largest construction project in state history. Company and union officials estimate the project will require approximately 10 million man-hours, which equates to about 1,000 construction jobs.
According to the agreement, WEC will use union labor for the Power the Future construction projects, and the members of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council will complete the new plant construction without delays, strikes or work stoppages.
“Our company and labor unions have enjoyed a cordial and productive relationship,” said Richard R. Grigg, president and chief operating officer of Wisconsin Electric. “This agreement is a milestone in that relationship and for our Power the Future plan.”
On September 11, 2000, WEC announced its 10-year, $6 billion Power the Future plan to improve the supply, reliability and quality of electricity in Wisconsin. Elements of the program include construction of the new power plants, refurbishment or retirement of older generation units, and substantial improvements and additions to the company’s electric distribution system.
Demand for electricity in Wisconsin is growing by about three percent per year. By 2010, WEC planners estimate that electricity demand in Wisconsin will outstrip capacity by approximately 4,000 MW.
In addition to construction of the new units, the plan also includes an investment of more than $1.3 billion over a 10-year period in the company’s existing portfolio of generating facilities and other capital projects to ensure continued reliable and cost efficient operation, as well as the retirement of older, less efficient coal-fired units. In order to further assure a reliable supply of electricity to its customers, the plan includes an investment of about $2.7 billion in the company’s electric distribution system.
Following regulatory and environmental approvals, WEC plans to begin construction of the natural gas-fired combined cycle unit in 2003 with completion in 2005. The first coal-fired unit would break ground in 2004 with a projected in-service date of 2007. The additional units would come on-line between 2009 and 2013.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation is a Milwaukee-based holding company with subsidiaries in utility and non-utility businesses. The company serves more than one million electric and 940,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through its primary utility subsidiaries Wisconsin Electric, Wisconsin Gas and Edison Sault Electric. Its non-utility subsidiaries include energy services and development, pump manufacturing, waste-to-energy, and real estate businesses. Visit the company’s web site at www.WisconsinEnergy.com.