Committed to a cleaner energy future that is safe, reliable and affordable
Reducing emissions is essential to building a bright, sustainable future. We have a goal to make our electric generation fleet net carbon neutral by 2050 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions 60% by 2025 and 80% by the end of 2030, compared to 2005 levels. We also plan to achieve net-zero methane emissions from our natural gas distribution system by the end of 2030.
We continue to work with industry partners, environmental groups and state leaders to meet our goals and provide reliable energy to our customers.
Our focus is to continue a balanced electric generation mix, while taking the following actions:
- Investing in cost-effective, zero-carbon, renewable generation
- Retiring older, less-efficient fossil-fueled units
- Improving our natural gas distribution system
ESG progress plan
In November 2020, we announced our new ESG progress plan. The $16.1 billion plan is the largest five-year capital plan in our company’s history. It includes more than $4 billion in new renewable investments in solar, wind and battery storage.
The plan also calls for the retirement of 1,800 megawatts of older, less-efficient fossil-fueled generation by 2025. That is on top of the 1,800 megawatts of coal-fueled generation we retired between 2018 and 2019.
The ESG progress plan will help us cut emissions, maintain superior reliability, deliver significant savings for customers and grow our investment in the future of energy.
Reducing methane emissions
We continue to reduce methane emissions by improving our natural gas distribution system. Our initial 2030 goal called for a 30% reduction in methane emissions from a 2011 baseline. Given advancements with renewable natural gas and the advantages that come with serving America’s Dairyland, we are setting a new target across our natural gas distribution operations to achieve net-zero methane emissions by the end of 2030.
Track record of environmental responsibility
We began reducing CO2 emissions from coal-fueled generation through the conversion of the We Energies Port Washington Power Plant (now Port Washington Generating Station) and Valley Power Plant to natural gas in 2005-08 and 2014-15, respectively.
Combined, We Energies and WPS have retired more than 1,800 MW of coal-fueled generation since the beginning of 2018:
- 200-MW WPS Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin
- 100-MW WPS share of Edgewater 4 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
- 1,190-MW We Energies Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
- 350-MW We Energies Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan
Modern natural gas units
Our subsidiary in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Upper Michigan Energy Resources, added 183 MW of natural gas-fueled reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) generation in March 2019. RICE units are becoming a smart option on utility power systems due to their high efficiency, modular construction and flexibility of operations.
In April of 2021 our Wisconsin utilities, We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, filed a plan to build a 128-MW RICE project. If approved, construction is planned to begin in 2022, with an expected in-service date of late 2023.