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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.

MGE PLANNING LARGE WIND PROJECT IN IOWA

Madison utility Madison Gas and Electric plans to build a $107 million, 66-megawatt wind
farm in Howard County, Iowa, that would become the company’s largest wind farm to
date. The project, known as Saratoga, will consist of 33-turbines on a 10-square-mile site
about 200 miles west of Madison. The site is well situated because of its strong winds and
proximity to transmission infrastructure. If approved, construction could begin in early
2018 and deliver enough electrical power for approximately 47,000 homes by the end
of 2018. The company said wind turbine technology has improved with larger turbines
producing energy more efficiently, making it a cost-effective, clean-energy option.

Columbia Energy Air Quality Improvements Begun

A groundbreaking celebration has marked the start
of a large environmental technology project at the
Columbia Energy Center near Portage, Wisconsin.
Alliant Energy, along with the facility’s co-owners,
Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas and
Electric, are installing another air quality control
system at the facility. Utility employees were joined
by project contractors, labor leaders and federal,
state and local officials at the event.

The co-owners are building a selective catalytic
reduction (SCR) system at Unit 2 to reduce nitrogen
oxides by at least 50 percent. The total investment in
the environmental technology is approximately $110
million, and during construction, it is expected to
employ up to 100 workers. The project is scheduled
for completion by the end of 2018.

The SCR system is the second major air quality control
system installed at the Columbia Energy Center in
recent years. In 2014 baghouse and scrubber systems
were completed on both Units 1 and 2, and they are
reducing mercury and sulfur dioxide by over 90
percent from previous levels. These air quality
improvement projects at Alliant Energy’s largest
generating stations are part of an overall plan to move
toward cleaner energy. The plan also includes retiring
older and less efficient facilities, building the natural
gas-fueled Riverside expansion near Beloit, Wis.,
additional renewable energy and continued investments
in energy efficiency.

Xcel Energy Nears Completion of Wind Plan for Upper Midwest

Xcel Energy, the number one utility wind energy provider in the nation for twelve years running, added more renewable energy to its Upper Midwest system with the Odell Wind Farm coming on line this month. The power generated will be used by customers in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Odell Wind Farm has 100 wind turbines spanning four southern Minnesota communities, including Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin and Watonwan counties. It will generate 200 megawatts of electricity, delivering enough energy to power 105,000 homes in the Upper Midwest. The clean energy produced at Odell Wind Farm is expected to help avoid an average 368,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
“Adding Odell Wind Farm to our growing renewable energy fleet is one of many ways we’re giving customers the clean energy options they want,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “This wind purchase is another significant step forward in our goal to deliver 35 percent renewable energy to our Upper Midwest customers by 2030.”

“Sustainable growth and operation of our fleet of renewable generation facilities are key ingredients in the value we deliver to our shareholders,” commented Ian Robertson, the Chief Executive Officer of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. “The Odell facility’s strong wind resources and long-term power supply agreement with Xcel make it an excellent addition to our portfolio of operating facilities.”

The Odell Wind Farm is part of a commitment Xcel Energy made in 2013 to expand its wind capacity by 42 percent by adding 750 megawatts of cost-effective, clean wind energy into the Upper Midwest by the end of 2016. Also part of this commitment, the Border Winds and Pleasant Valley wind farms came on line in late 2015, adding 350 megawatts to the system. The Courtenay Wind Farm in North Dakota will add another 200 megawatts when it is complete at the end of 2016.  Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation owns the Odell Wind Farm, a project initially developed by Geronimo Energy. Under a 20 year power purchase agreement, Xcel Energy will purchase power from the Odell project.

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