Power supplier to purchase power from Point Beach Nuclear Plant
WPPI Energy, the nonprofit power supplier for Waupun Utilities has reached an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC for the purchase of approximately 162 megawatts (MW) of electric power output from the Point Beach Nuclear Plant.
“This transaction presented an excellent opportunity for a reliable, affordable resource to help meet WPPI Energy member utilities’ long-term needs while also greatly reducing our carbon footprint,” said WPPI Energy President & CEO Michael Peters. “The agreement will supply at fixed cost a substantial portion of the power needed by WPPI Energy’s members, resulting in significant long-term savings compared to the cost for WPPI Energy to purchase power from other sources. The agreement will also diversify our resource portfolio and help mitigate the risk of rising energy costs due to stricter environmental regulations on fossil fuel-based electric generation.”
The Point Beach facility, which is located along Lake Michigan near the WPPI Energy member community of Two Rivers, Wis., is a two-unit nuclear plant with a current total capacity of approximately 1,023 MW. Earlier this month, NextEra Energy Resources received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to increase, or “uprate” the plant’s output by approximately 162 MW.
An uprate is accomplished by modifying or replacing existing components to increase a plant's output.
Under the agreement with NextEra Energy Resources, WPPI Energy will purchase all of the available incremental increase in output associated with the uprate. The term of the purchase will begin upon completion of the uprate for each unit and continue for the duration of the units’ operating licenses, which extend to 2030 for Unit 1 and 2033 for Unit 2. Installation of the uprate is currently underway for Unit 2, which is expected to return to service in June. The uprate to Unit 1 is expected to be completed in December.
“The addition of this major source of electricity supplied from carbon-free, reliable nuclear power complements other efforts by WPPI Energy members to reduce our carbon footprint, which will enable us to operate as cost-effectively as possible in a variety of economic conditions and legislative or regulatory environments,” said Waupun Utilities’ General Manager Zachary Bloom.
In recent years, WPPI Energy members have taken steps to reduce carbon emissions by voluntarily tripling funding for customer energy efficiency and conservation programs and by substantially increasing their use of renewable energy from resources such as wind, solar, hydropower and biogas. Together, WPPI Energy’s membership had resources in place six years early to meet Wisconsin and Michigan laws requiring the use of 10 percent renewable energy by 2015.
The company’s renewable energy portfolio includes the purchase of the output from NextEra Energy Resources’ Butler Ridge wind energy facility located in Dodge County, Wis.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with NextEra Energy Resources, which has been an excellent partner for WPPI Energy,” Peters said.