Oak Creek Power Plant

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Oak Creek Power Plant
Oak Creek Power Plant is located in Wisconsin
Oak Creek Power Plant
Location of Oak Creek Power Plant
Country United States
Location Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Coordinates 42°50′40″N 87°49′43″W / 42.84444°N 87.82861°W / 42.84444; -87.82861Coordinates: 42°50′40″N 87°49′43″W / 42.84444°N 87.82861°W / 42.84444; -87.82861
Status Active, under expansion
Commission date Unit 5: December, 1959
Unit 6: December, 1961
Unit 7: March, 1965
Unit 8: October, 1967
Unit 9 (gas-fired): December, 1968
Decommission date Units 1–4: 1980s
Owner(s) We Energies
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Sub-bituminous coal
Cooling source Lake Michigan
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 1,135 MWe (pre-expansion)[1]

Oak Creek Power Plant, also known as South Oak Creek, is a base load, coal- and natural gas-fired, electrical power station located on Lake Michigan in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The plant is located on over 400 acres (160 ha) of land on the border of Milwaukee and Racine counties. As of 2008, the plant was in the process of a billion dollar expansion. In 2009, it was listed as the third largest generating station in Wisconsin with a net summer capacity of 1,135 MW.[1][2]


Two 615-megawatt coal-fueled units were constructed just north of the existing Oak Creek facility. Construction started June 29, 2005, Unit 1 began commercial operation on February 2, 2010.[3] with Unit 2 following in 2011. Bechtel Power Corporation is the prime contractor for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the facility. The two steam turbines were provided by Hitachi.

Concrete was poured 24 hours a day for 41 days to construct the 550-foot (170 m) tall 70-foot (21 m) diameter common chimney for the expansion project.

The expansion project is known as the Elm Road Generating Station, though it is on the same property as the Oak Creek Power Plant

Coal Transportation[edit]

Most of the Coal is transported on train. Union Pacific railroad is the main hauler. Occasionally they will haul it in on tug boats on Lake Michigan from the Power plant near Downtown Milwaukee. Unit train 130 coal cars per train.[citation needed]


Unit Capacity (MW) Commissioning Notes
1–4 1950s Retired in the 1980s
5 275 (nameplate)
261 (summer)
262 (winter)[4]
1959[4] Steam / Boiler
6 275 (nameplate)
264 (summer)
265 (winter)[4]
1961[4] Steam / Boiler
7 317.6 (nameplate)
298 (summer)
298 (winter)[4]
1965[4] Steam / Boiler
8 324 (nameplate)
298 (summer)
298 (winter)[4]
1967[4] Steam / Boiler
9 18 1968 Natural gas Combustion Turbine for startup / standby power


On February 3, 2009, 6 contract workers were injured when coal dust ignited in a 65-foot coal dust silo on the power plant site. The 6 workers (4 inside and 2 outside) were preparing the structure for repairs when an unknown ignition source ignited coal dust that had accumulated at the top of the silo. All 6 were transported to local hospitals with varying degrees of burns, with the most severe being third degree burns to hands and face.

On October 31, 2011, a bluff area roughly the size of a football field and 200 feet above the level of Lake Michigan eroded under unknown circumstances washing a large amount of mud and debris into Lake Michigan. The area that washed away was near the construction site of a new air quality control unit for the plant. Close to 100 workers were at the site at the time of the collapse of which none were hurt or killed. Among the debris that was washed into Lake Michigan included several storage trailers, a pickup truck, and a temporary storage building being use for the construction. The area was also a former site where coal ash was stored and it is believed that coal ash washed into Lake Michigan as well. WE Energies Contracted with Clean Harbors to prevent further environmental damage and clean the area up.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Oak Creek Power Plant" (PDF). We Energies. February 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Wisconsin – Ten Largest Plants by Generating Capacity, 2009" (PDF). U.S. Energy Information Administration. 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Elm Road Generating Station". Bechtel Corporation. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Electricity Generating Capacity: Existing Electric Generating Units by Energy Source, 2008". U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]