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Wisconsin Energy Corporation's CEO Presents At 2012 Barclays Energy/Power Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: WEC

We, of course, have just completed the major infrastructure megaprojects that we’ve had underway since 2003. The first of those projects involved the completion of two very efficient next generation fired combined cycle units in Port Washington, which is a city north of Milwaukee.

And I’d like to call your attention to the bottom line on the slide, the cost per unit of capacity. We were able to complete the Port Washington units - and again, these are among the most efficient natural gas units in the Midwest and anywhere in the country - for $609 per unit of capacity. If you were to try to build comparable combined cycle units today, the cost would likely be in excess of $1,000 per unit of capacity. So these units will serve our customers very, very well and help us remain price competitive for decades to come.

And the same story with our major coal-fired units. We completed the first of the major units at Oak Creek in February of 2010. Unit two at Oak Creek was completed in January of 2011. This is, in total, a $2.3 billion project and we were able to bring these units in for just at $1,950 per unit of capacity.

If you look at other coal-fired units that are being completed around the country today - and a good example would be the Duke unit at Cliffside in North Carolina - using an exactly comparable technology, they are bringing that unit in for $3,000 per unit of capacity. So we’re very pleased with not only the efficiency of these units. These coal-fired units are among the three most efficient coal-fired units anywhere in the United States. But also, the price that we were able to complete these construction projects for.

There has been, as a result of the modern, new efficient capacity that we’ve put in place, a dramatic change in our environmental performance. And the slide really tells it all. We have added 50% to our power plant capacity of our fleet. And at the same time, emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury are down 70%. We do not face any significant exposure to the new environmental rules that the EPA is now trying to mandate.

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