New Ulm Public Utilities Commission Cancels Plans to Convert Steam Boiler to Coal
September 27, 2011
On September 27, the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission (NUPUC) voted to suspend project activities for a proposed conversion of Boiler #4 to coal at its steam plant in New Ulm, Minnesota. Concerned citizens cheered as commissioners voted not to move forward with a plan that would have increased air pollution and cost the city over $23 million.
The NUPUC plan to convert Boiler #4 to burn coal was part of the long term energy plan developed in 2006. New Ulm Citizens for Clean Energy has been working with Sierra Club and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to stop the project from moving forward since NUPUC applied for an air permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in 2009.
At a July meeting, NUPUC's consultants Sargent & Lundy presented an updated economic analysis of the project that concluded coal was no longer the most economic option for New Ulm, but recommended that the Commission move forward with the air permit application. After revisiting the report and acquiring additional information on natural gas and coal pricing, NUPUC staff recommended suspending work on the project, writing in the recommendation that the “project has lost its economic benefit to the City of New Ulm.”
Details and Documents:
New Ulm Says No to Coal
September 27, 2011, Sierra Club et al. Press Release
See other "Stopping the Coal Rush" cases.