Charter Street Heating Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Charter Street Heating Plant is a coal-fired power station in Madison, Wisconsin. It provides power to the University of Wisconsin.

Coal Plant Violates Clean Air Act

In August 2008, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced that two aging coal plants, the Charter Street Plant and the Capitol Heat and Power Plant, both located in Dane County, will be shut down and replaced with cleaner systems. The decision followed legal action and grassroots protests and lobbying by members of the Sierra Club, students at the University of Wisconsin, and other activists.[1]

In February 2009, Gov. Doyle announced that the Charter Street heating plant will phase out coal. The Governor said that a biomass boiler will be installed by 2012 in an effort to generate 25 percent of the state's energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. The over $200 million investment will eliminate the burning of over 100 tons of coal.[2]

At a planning meeting in October 2009, university officials said they expect to break ground on the project in 2010 and complete the upgrade by summer 2013.[3]

Wisconsin May Shut Down Five Coal Plants

In 2007 the Sierra Club challenged the State of Wisconsin over pollution emissions from five of its state-run coal plants used to provide heat and power to four state-run university buildings and one hospital. The plants include those that function at UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls and Mendota Mental Health Institute. The State's Department of Natural Resources sided with the Sierra Club, and now the state of Wisconsin has to decide on whether or not to install pollution-control equipment to greatly reduce emissions, or reduce the use of coal all together. As decision is to be made by spring 2010.[4]

The Sierra Club alleged that the millions of dollars in upgrades made at these facilities were significant and actually increased the potential for the plants to emit more pollution.[5]

Loading map...

Plant Data

  • Owner: University of Wisconsin
  • Parent Entity: State of Wisconsin
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 9.7 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 9.7 MW (1965)
  • Location: 117 North Charter St., Madison, WI 53715
  • GPS Coordinates: 43.070295, -89.404909
  • Electricity Production: 46,082 MWh (2006)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 83,241 tons (2006)
  • SO2 Emissions: 1,347 tons (2002)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 58.46 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 764 tons (2002)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Articles and Resources


  1. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed December 2007. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  2. "Doyle: No coal at UW by 2012," Badger Herald, February 8, 2009.
  3. "Charter Street plant to eliminate use of coal," Daily Cardinal, September 29, 2009.
  4. "Dpt. of Good Ideas: Wisconsin May Shut Down Five Coal Plants,", February 22, 2010.
  5. "State may shut down five coal-fired power plants," Dee J Hall, Wisconsin State Journal, February 19, 2010.

Related articles

External Articles

This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.