ROTHSCHILD – A new biomass-fueled power plant at Rothschild-based
Domtar Corp.’s paper mill in north-central Wisconsin is now
producing power, according to a We Energies statement.
The renewable energy project was placed into commercial operation on
Friday, the company said.
Wood, waste wood and sawdust are burned to produce up to 50
megawatts of electricity, while also supplying steam for use by the
“The addition of the biomass plant enables us to produce renewable
energy on demand,” said Gale Klappa, We Energies chairman and chief
executive. “That benefit is simply not available with solar or wind
Construction began in June 2011 after the state Public Service
Commission approved the project. While the project is more expensive
than a wind farm, the commission found that the higher cost was
justified because of the ability to generate power on demand, as
opposed to when the wind is blowing.
The power plant was built to comply with the state’s renewable
energy mandate, which requires the utility to generate 8.2 percent
of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. The mandate also
requires the company keep renewables at that level if overall demand
for power grows.
"These renewable energy projects, fueled by Wisconsin resources,
were developed largely through the talents of Wisconsin companies
and Wisconsin labor," Klappa said.