CASSVILLE, Wis. — The demolition of a retired biomass power plant in Cassville will begin today — a first step toward the future development of the site.
DTE Energy Power & Industrial announced Tuesday that its E.J. Stoneman Generating Station will be razed by the end of the year.
Market factors and the plant’s age were the primary factors underlying the decision, said company spokesman Eric Younan.
“The plant just was past its time,” he said. “There was just a lot of competition in terms of the cost for electricity. Natural gas, for example, was cheaper.”
E.J. Stoneman Generating Station was constructed in 1950 as a coal-fired plant. DTE Energy purchased it in 2008, and the company converted it to a 40-megawatt biomass operation two years later.
The power plant, which was retired in 2015, is the second in Cassville to be deconstructed. The former Nelson Dewey Generating Station, a coal-fired operation owned by Alliant Energy, was demolished in December 2017 after two years of inactivity.
DTE Energy intends to dismantle the on-site equipment and buildings and restore the site to accommodate new development. North American Dismantling Corp. will oversee the work.
Cassville Village President Keevin Williams said village officials anticipated both demolitions following the plants’ closures.
Like the Nelson Dewey property, the 8.5-acre E.J. Stoneman site includes a docking facility on the Mississippi River and railroad access, offering potential use for cargo shipping.
The demolition will not impact special utility-aid payments the village receives on the property.
Those payments began a five-year phaseout in 2017. After that period ends, the village only will receive tax payments based on the property’s assessed value, Williams said.
DTE Energy intends to sell the property following demolition. It has not been listed yet, and the company has not been approached by a prospective buyer, Younan said.
Ron Brisbois, executive director of Grant County Economic Development Corp., called the announcement “exciting,” as it means he soon can begin an aggressive marketing campaign.
“We have been hoping for this for some time,” he said.
Brisbois said additional details about the property will be needed because some sections might not be developable.
For example, the state does not permit construction atop fly ash pits, where the fine particles of burned fuel were stored. Construction also is restricted on areas where coal was stockpiled.
“Once we have that information in hand, we can start marketing it,” Brisbois said.
Meanwhile, Alliant Energy is in final negotiations to sell the about 10-acre section of the Nelson Dewey property.
“We’re negotiating with that bidder, but it’s not finalized yet,” said Scott Reigstad, senior communications partner. He declined to disclose additional details.
Alliant sold in 2018 a second, 7-acre parcel to ARTCO Fleeting Services, which was a longtime tenant.