— The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday it has awarded the $15.9 billion Algonquin Power and Light Company a contract to operate two of the nation’s largest coal-fired power plants.
The Algonquins, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based American Electric Power Co., is a joint venture between GE, Caterpillar, and General Electric.
GE and Caterpillar have a long-standing relationship with the Algonqua power plant.
Algonqis plant is a massive coal-burning power plant in northwestern Wisconsin.
The plant is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the town of Berwick.
The facility generates about 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to power about 5.2 million homes.
The power plant is located about 15 minutes from the state capitol.
The company said it expects to begin operating at the Alconquins power plant by mid-July.
GE said it is in talks with the U.s.
Department to buy power from the plant, which is owned by the state.
GE, which owns about one-quarter of the power plant’s coal, had a contract with the Department for years.
The two companies announced the Alcorquins contract in June.
The Alcorquin power plant generates nearly 90 percent of the electricity produced in the state, according to state data.
The state Department of Natural Resources, however, doesn’t have power data for the Alcomquins plant.
The coal-fueled Alcorqua power station sits about 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of the Berwick power station.
The utility said the Alcoquins is in a drought and the utility is in discussions with the local government for funding.
The Berwick plant produces about 6.5 billion kilawatt-hour of electricity, enough for about 2.3 million homes, according a GE press release.
The plants coal-generated power accounts for about 25 percent of Alcoqua’s total power generation capacity, according the company.
GE also owns the Alquins mine.
GE owns the mine and the power station, but the company said in a press release that it would not be investing any money into the Almorquins coal project.