Valley Power Plant

Natural gas

Valley generates both electricity and steam for We Energies customers. The plant originally was fueled by coal. To help reduce operating costs and enhance environmental performance, the plant’s fuel source was converted to natural gas.


This plant occupies more than 22 acres adjacent to downtown Milwaukee between the south Menomonee Canal and the Menomonee River.

Type of plant

Cogeneration facility using natural gas to provide intermediate-load (typically operating 24 hours a day) for the electric system while supplying all of the steam to the downtown Milwaukee heating system.

Initial cost

$41 million

Natural gas conversion cost

$62 million

Generating units

2 steam (two boilers per unit)
1 emergency diesel generator

Year in service

Unit 1: 1968
Unit 2: 1969

Converted to natural gas

Unit 1: 2014
Unit 2: 2015

Generating capacity

136 megawatts per unit

Total net generating capacity

272 megawatts

Steam-heating capacity

1.25 million pounds of steam/hour

Steam-heating customers

Approximately 450 in Milwaukee


Natural gas

Average fuel usage

25,000 dekatherms of natural gas daily

Fuel handling

Lateral connection to natural gas distribution system in Menomonee Valley


Two per turbine generator.
Height: 14 stories
Furnace temperature: 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit
Steam temperature: 900 degrees Fahrenheit
Steam pressure: 1,523 pounds per square inch


One 400-foot chimney for each unit.

Cooling system

110,800 gallons of river water are used every minute to convert the exhaust steam from the turbine back into water for reuse. This water is returned to the river.

Control room

All major functions in the plant are controlled by operators with computer support to continuously monitor and report on pressures, temperatures, flow rates, etc. In addition, the computer aids in start-up, shutdown, load adjustments and information for future reference.


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Updated: May 2016