Alliant Energy Acquires Ownership Interest in Great Western Wind Farm

In June, EDF Renewable Energy announced the signing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement by which Alliant
Energy Corporation will acquire a 50% ownership interest in the 225 megawatt Great Western Wind Project.
Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary conditions precedent.

“EDF RE is a renewable energy leader, and we are proud to establish a partnership with them,” said Alliant Energy Vice President of Business Development Joel Schmidt. “Our 50 percent cash equity ownership interest in this Project aligns with Alliant Energy’s strategy to invest in renewable energy.”

EDF RE remains involved in the project as a 50 percent co-owner and provides management services. EDF Renewable Services provides a portion of the current operations and maintenance services as well as 24/7 remote monitoring from its Operations Control Center.

Located in Woodward and Ellis counties near the base of the Oklahoma panhandle, Great Western Wind is comprised of 30 V117 (unit capacity of 3.3 MW) and 63 V100 (unit capacity of 2.0 MW) wind turbines supplied by Vestas.  The Project achieved commercial operations in December 2016; electricity generated is provided to Google under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement.

Raphael DeClercq, Vice President of Portfolio Strategy for EDF RE, commented, “The sale of equity stakes represents an integral part of EDF Renewable Energy’s business model, allowing us to maintain a balanced ownership
portfolio in order to assist in the funding of new project development. We are pleased to forge a new business relationship with Alliant Energy on this first transaction. We are confident that our expertise as a developer and operator complements Alliant Energy’s renewable energy strategy.”

EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 9 gigawatts of
wind, solar, storage, biomass and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Minnesota Commission Green Lights Xcel Energy’s Midwest Wind Expansion

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved Xcel Energy’s plan for the largest expansion of wind energy in the Upper Midwest. The North Dakota Public Service Commission will review the plan later this year. The new wind projects will save Xcel Energy customers billions of dollars in fuel and other costs, as compared to the
costs of other energy sources. Seven new wind farms are slated to be built in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and
South Dakota and will be operational by the end of 2020. The projects will provide enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes, increasing Xcel Energy’s regional wind output by approximately 70 percent.

“We’re investing in low-cost wind energy to provide the benefits of clean, affordable energy directly to our
customers,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “These projects deliver on our plan to keep
energy costs low while also reducing carbon emissions by more than 60 percent in the coming decades.”

With these new wind farms, Xcel Energy is locking in low-cost, carbon-free energy. As no fuel is needed for
wind farms, the cost of electricity from the wind farms is not affected by fuel price spikes. Customers receive the
benefit of low, stable electricity prices from these wind farms for the 25-year life of the projects.

“Our strategy delivers the long-term value our customers tell us they want,” said Clark. “These projects give
our customers both lower bills over the long term and predictable prices in addition to a cleaner energy mix.”

Xcel Energy will own 1,150 megawatts of the new wind energy; the remaining 400 megawatts will be sold to the
company under long-term power purchase agreements.

WUI Board of Directors Tours Wisconsin’s Largest Hydro Dam

Jim Falls Dam, Chippewa Falls, WI

 

WUI Board Members and Staff from left to right; James Buchen, Charles Clarke, Roger Cole,Michelle Lancaster, Phillip Mikulsky, Walter Woelfle, Thomas Fehring, Jeffery West, Richard Krueger, Kenyon Kies, and Trudy Popenhagen.

 


On June 15, 2017, members of the Wisconsin Utility Investors Board held  a board of director’s meeting in Chippewa Falls and toured the state’s largest hydro dam (in terms of generating capacity) at Jim Falls. The dam is an impressive engineering accomplishment, built in 1988 and functioning at full capacity today while preserving and contributing to the natural beauty, habitat and leisure access of the area. Board members were grateful to Xcel Energy for the opportunity to learn more about the powerful contribution of this hydro dam in terms of energy and preservation of our natural resources.

PEOPLES GAS UNDERWRITING CHICAGO NAVY PIER’S PAVILION

Chicago based Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, is contributing $5 million to the Navy Pier to fund what will be known as the Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion in Polk Brother’s Park at the entrance to the Pier. Peoples Gas said it is making the contribution to honor the company’s 100-year partnership with Navy Pier, which was one of the gas company’s first commercial customers. When completed later this year, the 4,000-square-foot Welcome Pavilion will include a landscaped roof with panoramic views, a cafe and information for arriving visitors about what the Pier has to offer. Pier officials estimate that approximately 9 million people a year visit the Pier.

NEW TRANSMISSION LINE IN THE WORKS

American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative have plans for a high-voltage transmission line connecting northeastern Iowa and western Wisconsin that would provide economic benefits, improved reliability and better access to renewable energy resources for the region. Dubbed the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project, the 345-kilovolt line would run for 125 miles from Dubuque County, Iowa, to Dane County, Wisconsin. Various alternative routes are currently being considered and the companies expect to file a formal application with regulators some time in 2018-19.

WUI MEMBERS TRAVEL TO MADISON FOR DAY AT THE CAPITOL

Over 100 WUI members from across the state travelled to Madison to meet with their legislators during a critically important budgetary crunch time at our capitol. Members caught busses en-route from Green Bay and Milwaukee and also drove from points West and locally. Legislators from 16 Senate districts and 33 Assembly districts were visited. Each legislator was briefed on who Wisconsin utility shareholders are, how WUI represents a shareholder’s interests, and more specifically regarding the Wisconsin Utility Investor opposition to Senate Bill 115 and Assembly Bill 198 which seeks to nullify existing leased generation contracts.

Thank you to all who attended, braving the wet weather and construction! WUI is also very grateful for our wonderful guest speakers, Commissioner Mike Huebsch and Senator Scott Fitzgerald, for their unique insights into the regulatory and budgetary processes.

ALLIANT ENERGY PLANT IN NEED OF REPAIRS

One of Alliant Energy company’s key power plants has been out of service since September and is in need of $25
million in repairs. The Riverside plant outage came to light when the agenda for the state Public Service Commission
meeting was recently released.

The company says the thirteen-year-old plant near the Town of Beloit isn’t expected to restart until July. The
natural
gas-fueled facility shut down in September for regular maintenance. Alliant spokesman Scott Reigstad
says the
generating station wouldn’t restart properly when the utility tried to restart it in November. When operating, the plant produces enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.

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