Serves as a model for responsible energy production and fuels debate over proposed plant

MADISON —DTE Energy Services announced its plan to convert the E.J. Stoneman power plant in Cassville, Wisconsin from a coal-fired facility to a 100 percent wood-waste-fueled facility after signing a purchase agreement to buy the plant on Thursday.

“Converting this power plant from coal to wood waste will eliminate mercury pollution and drastically reduce global warming pollution, serving as a model for responsible energy production” said Katie Nekola, Energy Program Director at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. “This move demonstrates that DTE Energy Services understands that the rising demand for clean energy coupled with the rising environmental and economic risks of coal makes renewable energy a safer investment.”

The announcement that the company plans to convert the 50 megawatt Cassville plant to wood waste occurs amidst controversy over whether Alliant Energy Corporation should be permitted to build a 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant across town at the existing Nelson Dewey facility.

“Unlike Alliant’s proposed plant, DTE Energy Services’ plan is consistent with the work of Governor Doyle and his Global Warming Task Force to reduce global warming pollution,” Nekola said. “The increased production of clean energy from this plant reduces the need to construct old coal plants that pollute our air and water while threatening Wisconsin’s economy.”

While Alliant claims its proposed plant may burn up to ten percent biomass, its reliance on old technology would eliminate any advantages of burning this biomass. In fact, according to Alliant’s own analysis, the proposed plant would emit as much global warming pollution as 40-year-old Wisconsin power plants fueled exclusively by coal.

“Alliant’s proposed use of ten percent biomass does little except manufacture the perception of clean energy,” Nekola said. “In contrast, DTE Energy Services’ plan will actually help meet the goals of the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force.”