PARDEEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - It’s the end of an era in Pardeeville. Alliant Energy Center announced the closure of the Columbia Energy Center.
Columbia Energy Center has been around since 1975, but it will close its doors permanently in 2024.
The company is making a shift from coal-fired energy, to renewable energy. Managers expect it will save customers around $250 million on energy bills over the next 10 years.
Then, there’s the environmental impact.
“Renewables help us reduce our use of water, and any further carbon emissions from the facility,” Matthew Cole, Dir. Of Operations at Columbia Energy Center said.
Cole said the facility will not shut down immediately.
“There are a couple phases to this,” Cole said.
Unit One will close by 2023. Unit Two will follow in 2024.
“There was a lot of anxiety created with the announcement today,” Tony Bartels, Business Manager at IBEW Local 965 said.
Bartels represents the union workers at Columbia Energy Center. About 100 people work at the location. Bartels is making sure every employee knows their options.
“For those people just short of retirement, they have to make that decision, of ‘what else am I going to do?’ Am I going to find a different position within Alliant [Energy], am I interested in starting an apprenticeship or going somewhere else?’” Bartels said.
The facility isn’t closing this week. However, Cole said management wants to help their workers figure out what’s next.
“My focus is to have those conversations as soon as possible, so we know the workforce we’ll be dealing with, and so that we can help them with transition plans. We want to have a smooth transition for employees and their families,” Cole said.
Columbia Energy Center will be Alliant Energy’s last coal-fire based energy facility in Wisconsin by 2024.
The building will be torn down after it’s closure.
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