Disappointingly, PSC Approves WEC Rate Case Settlement
On Thursday, October 31, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission indicated that it intends to approve the proposed settlement in WEC Energy Group’s rate case. This is unfortunate because the settlement does not address the unnecessary extra cost of the uneconomic South Oak Creek plant, leaving ratepayers on the hook to cover $75 million each year the plant continues to operate. Read the Sierra Club’s statement, coverage on Wisconsin Public Radio and on Madison.com, and in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
EPA Approves DNR’s Stricter Water Permit for South Oak Creek
Based on review of extensive public comments, the DNR made two significant changes to the variance terms in We Energies’ proposed Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit, calling for 1) a slightly reduced mercury cap along with more robust measures to bring mercury levels into compliance going forward; and 2) a change in the Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) compliance deadline to 2021 from 2023. Following its 60-day review period for the permit variances, the Environmental Protection Agency approved the variances. This new WPDES permit will require WEC to invest millions more dollars to keep the South Oak Creek plant running – a plant we know is losing money. This adds new pressure on WEC for commitment to an earlier retirement of the plant.