Powering Up in the Town of Paris

May 11, 2024 12:10p

(WGTD)---The Town of Paris in northern Kenosha County is known for its open spaces, farms and big houses. Now it’s fast becoming a major exporter of energy.

Paris has hosted a natural gas-fired ‘peaker’ plant for several decades. A 1,500-acre solar farm is under development. And now We Energies wants to build another peaker plant.

If all goes as planned, at full blast, the facilities will be able to provide power to as many as 200,000 homes.

Town Chair John Holloway says residents are becoming weary of all of the disruptions, many of which are caused by construction crews. Yet they’re supportive of the need for consistent power. "We realize that power has to be generated and it has to be generated somewhere," Holloway says. "But we have reached a point where we're questioning haven't we given enough...that is it fair to our community to have all of this being put into our community?" 

The need is being driven by the phasing out of the coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek and by the increased demand for power along the I-94 corridor, including the massive Microsoft data center that’s under construction in Mt. Pleasant, according to Holloway.

 At the moment, the town and We Energies appear to be at odds over the location of the new peaker plant. The town is pushing for a site that would not require the construction of additional overhead transmission lines.

The state Public Service Commission will make the final call.

Holloway is urging residents to stay informed by following the actions of the PSC online.