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Friday, May 6, 2011

Biomass critics say We Energies project still costs too much

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A proposed We Energies power plant at the Domtar Corp. paper mill in Rothschild is still too expensive for the utility's customers and should be rejected, critics of the plant said Thursday.

Groups that have raised questions or opposed the plant made filings with the state Public Service Commission Thursday, a day before regulators are scheduled to discuss the power company's bid to build a $255 million power plant that would burn wood.

The filings came two days after We Energies and Domtar revised the financial terms of the deal to raise Domtar Corp.'s financial stake in the project.

State regulators last week raised concerns about the project's price tag, but gave the utility a chance to revise the financial terms of the deal this week.

The changes announced by Domtar and We Energies weren't sufficient to address the concerns raised by the PSC, said the Citizens' Utility Board, a consumer advocacy group.

"It is unacceptable for (We Energies) ratepayers to bear the brunt of the costs and all of the risks for an uneconomical and unnecessary project for which they receive little to no benefits," wrote Kira Loehr, CUB's lawyer, in the filing.

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