MGE Announces Planned Retirement of Columbia Power Plant

The plan represents another step in MGE's ongoing transition toward greater use of cleaner energy sources and deep carbon reductions.

As part of our ongoing transition away from fossil fuels and toward greater use of renewable energy, in February we announced plans to retire the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center near Portage, Wisconsin.
"We announced several years ago that we were transitioning away from coal, and this has been a priority since we established our ambitious carbon reduction goals, both in 2015 and our net-zero goal almost two years ago," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler.
In May 2019, MGE was one of the first utilities in the nation to commit to a goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. MGE expects to achieve carbon reductions of 65% by 2030 and has announced in recent years significant investments in clean energy, which are expected to increase our owned renewable capacity by almost 675% by the end of 2022. MGE looks forward to additional investments in cost-effective clean energy to maintain our top-ranked electric reliability and to achieve deep carbon reductions.
MGE is a minority owner of the Columbia Energy Center. If the plan receives regulatory approval, MGE and the plant's co-owners intend to retire Unit 1 by the end of 2023 and Unit 2 by the end of 2024.
"We have said since introducing our clean energy and carbon reduction goals—if we can go further faster, we will. This and our significant investments in renewable energy represent our ongoing commitment to a cost-effective clean energy transition that benefits all of MGE's customers," said Keebler.

Achieving net-zero carbon electricity  

MGE's net-zero carbon goal is consistent with the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) October 2018 Special Report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve deep decarbonization, MGE is growing its use of renewable energy, engaging customers around energy efficiency and working to electrify transportation. Stay informed by visiting

published: Feb-02-2021