Blount Generating Station
Natural Gas-Fired Generation
This 100-megawatt power plant on Madison's east side operates on cleaner burning natural gas. In 2011, MGE discontinued burning coal at Blount Generating Station as part of its previous long-term framework called Energy 2015.
In addition to discontinuing the use of coal at Blount, under Energy 2015, MGE increased its energy from renewable resources by almost 12 times and cut carbon emissions 20% between 2005 and 2015.
MGE's Energy 2030 framework builds upon the progress with goals to further reduce carbon emissions and grow the use of renewables. Under Energy 2030, MGE reached an agreement to reduce its minority ownership in the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center near Portage, Wis. by about 33 megawatts. This agreement advances MGE's commitment to transition away from coal.
ISO 14001 Certified
Blount's Environmental Management System (EMS) became ISO 14001 certified in October 2004 - the first power plant in Wisconsin to earn this certification. Blount successfully passed its fifth independent audit in 2015 to recertify its status of ISO 14001, which is an international set of standards for EMS.
MGE's ISO 14001 EMS at Blount is a voluntary framework to enhance our environmental performance. It emphasizes employee training, specific procedures, checklists and communications.
MGE Participates in Green Tier
MGE is the only utility in Wisconsin to be awarded the highest participation level in Green Tier, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' environmental leadership program.
We received the top-level designation based on our history of superior environmental performance.
Blount Advisory Group
As part of Green Tier, a Community Environmental Advisory Group works in partnership with us on environmental issues at Blount. The group, which meets regularly with MGE, is made up of people who either live or work near Blount or are impacted by Blount.
Blount's operation depends on several factors—from reliability needs to overall costs.
MGE is a member of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO is a not-for-profit organization that is responsible for the coordination and delivery of reliable electric power across all or parts of 15 states, including Wisconsin.
Blount is one of many regional generating facilities offered into MISO’s daily energy supply. When deciding which power sources to use, MISO considers:
- Which power resources are available or operating in the region;
- Regional reliability needs; and
- Overall costs.
History of Blount Station
Blount Generating Station was built in 1902. It was the first gas engine central station in the country, replacing an earlier, smaller station on Williamson Street. The engines used in the plant ran off gas from the nearby MGE manufactured gas plant.
In 1915, the original generator building was extensively remodeled and a 10-megawatt turbo generator was installed. An adjacent building also was constructed to house four coal-stoker, low-pressure boilers that provided steam for the new generator. Subsequent construction projects added new boilers and high-pressure steam generators and replaced the old equipment.
A construction project in 1978-79 added the capacity to burn refuse-derived fuel. It was one of the first such projects in the country and more successful than most. MGE retired 90 megawatts of older, less efficient capacity in 2011 when it discontinued burning coal as part of its Energy 2015 plan.