July 27 (Reuters) - Wisconsin Power and Light Co (WPL), a unit of Wisconsin power company Alliant Energy Corp, said it plans to invest more than $1.4 billion in its generating fleet over the next five years.
WPL’s plan includes investing in environmental controls on its larger and efficient generating units to comply with state and federal environmental rules.
The company aims to finalize purchase of Riverside Energy Center, a natural gas-fired combined cycle plant in Beloit, Wisconsin, by end of 2012 as a part of its investments.
In May, WPL had exercised an option to buy the 600-megawatt natgas plant for about $392 million from U.S. generator Calpine Corp.
WPL also plans to file for additional emission controls for its Edgewater Generating Station Unit 5 and construct emissions controls at Columbia Units 1 and 2 and Edgewater Unit 5.
The company intends to retire its three oldest and smallest coal generating units by the end of 2015.
These units include the 200-MW Nelson Dewey Generating Station Units 1 and 2, located in Cassville, Wisconsin, and the 60-MW Edgewater Unit 3, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
U.S. power companies plan to shut almost 35,000 megawatts (MW) of smaller, older coal-fired plants over the next few years as cheap natural gas prices and stricter environmental rules have made coal the more expensive option.
FACTBOX on U.S. coal power units to be retired.