WPS shutting down coal-powered Pulliam Plant

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After 90 years in operation, the coal-fired Pulliam power plant in Green Bay is set to be retired.

Pulliam Power Plant exterior
Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay (WBAY file photo)

"Really, this is part of our parent company WEC Energy Group's overall efforts to reshape its generation fleet for a clean, reliable energy future," WPS spokesman Matt Cullen said.

Cullen says a number of factors played into the decision to retire the plant late next year or in early 2019.

"Natural gas prices have been sustainably low. We've also had reduced costs, a dramatic reduction in cost, for renewable generation such as utility scale solar and wind energy, and also customer demand, there's been limited to no growth in electricity demand by customers."

The plant was built in 1927 at the mouth of the Fox River.

At its peak, the power plant was home to eight coal-fueled electric generating units.

Today only two remain in operation, producing more than 200 megawatts of electricity.

As for what options will be available for the 46 employees who work at the plant -- or the property that borders the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay- - Cullen says those have yet to be determined.

"I's early on in the process of retiring those two units at the Pulliam Power Plant, and we're still working on a final disposition of the site."

Since 1998, the Pulliam plant has also been home to nesting peregrine falcons. WPS says after this coming spring it will work with a falcon expert to make sure other nesting boxes are located nearby.

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