Dairyland Power Cooperative will stop using three aging coal-burning units at its plant in Alma, Wis., the La Crosse-based utility announced Tuesday.
The decision will eliminate 12 jobs.
Eight will likely be relocated to open positions within the cooperative, said spokeswoman Katie Thomson, while the remaining four will likely be laid off.
The decision to stop using the coal-burning units stemmed from a review of regulatory requirements and maintenance costs, among other considerations, Thomson said.
With a capacity of about 60 megawatts, the three units, all built in the 1950s, have generated just 0.4 percent of the cooperative’s power this year. In the future they will be used only for emergencies.
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Two other Alma coal plants with 120 megawatts of capacity will continue supplying the network.
Thomson declined to comment about whether the decision will decrease pollution. She said the cooperative operates in full compliance of state and federal regulations.
Coal-fired facilities are some of Wisconsin’s top emitters of several hazardous substances linked to increased mortality and sickness, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The cooperative provides wholesale electricity to areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois by converting a variety of resources, including coal, natural gas, and wind and solar energy.