- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Madison utility company’s key power plant has been out of service since September and is in need of $25 million in repairs.

Alliant Energy Corp.’s Riverside plant outage came to light Wednesday when the agenda for the state Public Service Commission meeting was released, the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/2nIEnc5 ) reported.

The company said the 13-year-old plant near the town of Beloit isn’t expected to restart until July. Alliant spokesman Scott Reigstad said he doesn’t expect a shortage of power on hot days, when electricity use is highest.

The natural gas-fueled facility shut down in September for regular maintenance. Reigstad said the generating station wouldn’t restart properly when the utility tried to turn it back on in November.

Reigstad said it’s unclear if utility customers will be asked to pick up all or part of the $25 million repair tab.

“Alliant Energy has submitted a property insurance claim for the repair cost, but coverage has not yet been determined,” Reigstad said. “If insurance coverage applies, we believe the insurance proceeds would cover the vast majority of the repair costs.”

The plant generates up to 675 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 450,000 homes. Reigstad said the power plant was operating 63 percent of the time, on average, during the first eight months of 2016, including four months when it was called into action more than 70 percent of the time.

“The Riverside Energy Center is one of the most efficient and cost-competitive generators in our Wisconsin generating fleet,” he said.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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