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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stoneman coal plant conversion moving forward

From an article by Craig Reberth in the Telegraph Herald (Dubuque):

CASSVILLE, Wis. -- Pending a state Department of Natural Resources air-quality hearing next week and the ensuing public comment period, work should start on converting a Cassville power plant from coal to 100 percent renewable fuel.

In May, DTE Energy Services, of Ann Arbor, Mich., announced it was purchasing the E. J. Stoneman power plant. DTE said it planned to convert the coal-fired plant to burn wood waste, a renewable fuel.

The Stoneman facility was built in 1950. Integrys Energy Services bought the 53-megawatt capacity plant in 1996 from Dairyland Power Cooperative and operated it as a merchant power plant, selling power in the open market. This is DTE Energy's initial foray into Wisconsin.

Once the air permit is issued, the project will move forward, DTE officials say. The plant probably will be pulled off-line by the end of this month, with demolition and construction to take place during the summer. The plant could be back online as early as June 2010.

Work includes converting the boilers from burning pulverized coal to a stoker technology and conversion of the material handling process. It is estimated the project will use 40 people at the peak of the effort.

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