The Environmental Association of Juiz de Fora (AMAJF) in Minas Gerais, Brazil recently presented Alliant Energy International and Companhia Forca e Luz Cataguazes-Leopoldina (Cataguazes), Alliant’s Brazilian partner, with a 2002 Ecology Award. The award is in recognition of energy generation and environmental conservation initiatives at Juiz de Fora Power Plant, the partnership’s newly constructed thermal-electric facility.CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, July 2, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Juiz de Fora Power Plant is the first utility to receive an AMAJF Ecology Award. The award is presented, annually, in conjunction with the International Day of Ecology, to institutions and companies that demonstrate excellence in preserving the environment. This year’s award ceremony was June 5. Two areas of environmental stewardship were noted in the award presentation to Juiz de Fora Power Plant-generation and conservation. The plant is designed to use combined-cycle (gas and steam) technology and clean-burning natural gas to create electricity. This technology uses less fuel than traditional power plants and results in lower costs, reduced air emissions and greater energy efficiency. In addition to generating efficient and environmentally friendly energy, Alliant Energy International and Cataguazes were lauded for their reforesting efforts at the Juiz de Fora Power Plant site. Following construction of the plant, the partners planted more than 10,000 seedlings of native species to promote balance in the area’s natural ecosystem. John Peterson, president of Alliant Energy International, says protecting the environment is a top priority of the company. “We view prudent use of natural resources and protecting the environment as a critical issue-one we take very seriously,” he said. “By design, our business objectives go hand in hand with our environmental responsibilities and goals. This award recognizes our diligent efforts to increase generating capacity while minimizing impact on the environment. We’re honored to receive it, but the real reward comes in protecting the world our customers, employees and neighbors live and work in.” Juiz de Fora Power Plant is a $76 million joint venture between Alliant Energy International and Cataguazes. Each partner holds a 50 percent interest. The plant began commercial operation in Nov. 2001. Currently, the Juiz de Fora Power Plant consists of two natural gas-fired, 40 MW thermal generation units. The units are operating in simple-cycle mode, but will be converted to a combined-cycle facility in early 2003. Operating as a combined-cycle facility, the Juiz de Fora plant will produce an electrical power output of 103 MW.