One year ago, Dairyland acquired the 503 MW RockGen Energy Center, a natural gas power plant located in Cambridge, Wis. Dairyland announced its intention in August 2021 to acquire the facility from an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC. The purchase agreement was finalized on Dec. 15, 2021.
The purchase of RockGen has already proven very timely and essential for grid reliability, with its ability to quickly step up and meet demand for electricity. “Safely delivering reliable and sustainable electricity to our members is critical as we continue to diversify Dairyland’s energy portfolio and lower carbon intensity," said President and CEO Brent Ridge. "The availability of this existing, low-cost and reliable facility in Wisconsin has been a good strategic fit for our power supply portfolio.”
Operational since 2001, RockGen is a simple-cycle, dual fuel power generating facility that operates mainly on natural gas. The three 168 MW low-NOx combustion turbines (CTs) can ramp up and down quickly to support intermittent solar and wind resources. In 2020, re-commissioning was completed to allow operation on fuel oil as a backup fuel source. This fuel flexibility enhances reliability in the region when or if the natural gas supply is limited.