Combined-Cycle Plant Starts Operation

By Jack Burke15 May 2020

A new 730 MW combined-cycle natural gas generating station is now online in southern Wisconsin, USA.

Alliant Energy’s West Riverside Energy Center near the city of Beloit incorporates a GE 7A.05 gas turbine and complements the company’s growing number of solar and wind facilities. Because it leverages combined-cycle technology, its power output can adjust up and down quickly to fit with the intermittent nature of renewable resources, the company said.

“We are proud to put our West Riverside Energy Center into service to provide reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Community support, strong partnerships and hard work by countless employees, contractors and suppliers made this a successful project.”

The West Riverside project team included AECOM serving as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, many AECOM subcontractors, as well as HDR contributing as the owner’s engineer. Facility co-owners include Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative, Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative and Rock Energy Cooperative.

Alliant Energy started construction on the generating station in spring 2017 after receiving approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The completed $660 million facility can produce enough power for more than 550,000 homes. Going forward, it will increase local utility shared revenues by more than $3 million annually.

The next step for the project includes constructing a new, integrated solar facility adjacent to the natural gas generating station. The West Riverside solar garden is expected to break ground soon with a planned completion by the end of this year, bringing added benefits to customers. The 6 MW DC solar field will offset auxiliary power at the natural gas plant and increase the sustainability and efficiency of the West Riverside Energy Center.

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