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Science & Environment| Science & Environment

RockGen Energy Center

RockGen Energy Center

Dairyland Power Cooperative announced plans to purchase the 503-megawatt RockGen Energy Center in Cambridge. The natural gas generator is used primarily for electricity generation during peak demand.

Dairyland Power Cooperative purchased the RockGen Energy Center natural-gas generator in Cambridge.

Brent Ridge, Dairyland CEO, said that the acquisition will ensure that the La Crosse-based cooperative can continue to meet the needs of its member utilities. This includes about 500,000 customers in Wisconsin.

Ridge stated Wednesday that the availability of this low-cost, reliable facility in Wisconsin is timely and a good fit for our power supply portfolio. Ridge made the announcement Wednesday after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the sale.

The Beloit plant is Wisconsin’s latest gas-fired powerplant and second largest at $670million.

Starwood Energy Group was not paid by Dairyland for the 20-year-old plant. It burns gas in three combustion engines to generate electricity. During times of peak demand.

RockGen was completed in 2001, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a challenge by area residents concerned about its impact on the environment. It was one of two Starwood acquisitions in 2019. It was last year updated to use oil as a backup fuel.

'More than we bargained for': Solar farm proposal roils Cambridge community

This is the 10th such project that Wisconsin regulators have considered. It highlights the tensions in the state as utilities try to replace coal-fired energy with clean energy.

According to the federal Energy Information Administration (FEIA), the 503 megawatt plant produced enough electricity last year to power 54,000 Wisconsin homes. This was a slight decrease from the peak year of 2019, when it emitted more that 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

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