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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alliant files "closing arguments" on Cassville plant

From a media release issued by Alliant:

MADISON, WI – October 17, 2008 – A decision on the future of the Nelson Dewey Generating Station is just weeks away. The final phase of the regulatory process kicked off today, as Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT), filed its . . . brief in the case.

The brief highlights that no generating facility in Wisconsin history has ever provided the varied benefits that Nelson Dewey 3 will bring. These benefits include helping to jump start the biofuels economy in Wisconsin and establishing an estimated $50 million dollars annually in economic development from that market, creating much-needed jobs for southwest Wisconsin during the construction and operation of the plant, and increasing the transmission import capability into the state by as much as 600 megawatts.

Also addressed in the brief is the importance of strong ratemaking principles to the project. Ratemaking principles define how construction costs will be recovered in utility rates throughout the life of the generating facility. “These are clearly challenging economic times for all of us,” said William D. Harvey, Chairman, President, and CEO – Alliant Energy. “We are thankful that, in Wisconsin, our regulators have the ability to fix the financial parameters for the lifetime of the project. That certainty can help provide our customers and our company with stability, which, now more than ever, is critical.”

The proposed 300 megawatt plant will have the ability to burn not only coal, but also switchgrass (native prairie grass), corn stalks and waste wood from area fields and forests. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) is considering WPL’s proposal, with final briefs in the docket due at the end of this month. The PSCW is expected to issue an oral decision about the future of the project in mid-November, with a written order due in mid-December.

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