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We Energies coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek is finally up and running

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After years of court battles and construction delays, a power plant near Milwaukee is finally up and running.

The first of two coal-fired units in Oak Creek is now at 25 percent of its capacity, and We Energies' CEO Gale Klappa says the output will reach 50 percent in the next few days.

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Meanwhile, progress is also being made on the second unit. It's about three-fourths complete.

The State Supreme Court rejected legal challenges to the new power plant in 2005, and that's when construction began. Bechtel Power, the main contactor, said labor problems and bad weather delayed construction.

But We Energies is challenging some of those claims, and a three-member arbitration panel will decide if We Energies will pay an extra $0.5 billion above its budget.

The total cost is $2.3 billion, the most for any building project in the state's history.

Klappa says Bechtel is optimistic that the first unit will be totally complete by the end of the year.

The second one is now expected to be finished next August.

Both units will produce 1230 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve more than 1 million houses.

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