Emissions, News, Policy & Regulations

WEC Energy Group latest utility to promise net-zero carbon by 2050

Wisconsin Public Service parent WEC Energy Group is the latest utility holding company to proclaim a power generation goal of net carbon neutral by 2050.

The Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group is aiming for an interim goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions 70 percent below 2005 levels in 10 years. Over the past two years, WEC’s utilities have increased their renewables portfolio with three solar park projects totaling 300 MW of capacity.

“As we pursue our environmental objectives, we will continue to maintain safe, reliable service to customers across the region — our paramount responsibility,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman of WEC Energy Group. “We recognize that reducing emissions is essential to building a bright, sustainable future.”

According to the corporate responsibility report released last week, WEC is more than halfway toward its goal of reducing methane missions from natural gas distribution lines by 30 percent per mile compared with 2011. The utilities also saved more than 433 GWh of electricity via energy efficiency programs, according to the release.

The company’s principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources. Another major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants. In addition, WEC Infrastructure LLC owns a growing fleet of renewable generation facilities in the Midwest.

Utilities and power generators which have vowed to reach net-zero carbon emissions in operations by 2050 or earlier include Alliant Energy, Duke Energy, Xcel, Southern California Edison, Dominion Energy, Public Service of New Mexico, Southern Co. and PSEG, among others.

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“Destination 2050” is the theme of the Leadership Summit when POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International convene side by side March 30-April 1 in Orlando, Florida.