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WPS PROPOSES 200 MW OF SOLAR

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and WEC Energy Group (WEC), through its Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) subsidiary, recently announced plans for a partnership on two major solar projects in Wisconsin. MGE, WPS and project developers, Invenergy, and NextEra Energy Resources, filed applications today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the two Wisconsin projects.

Combined, the utilities would own a total of 300 megawatts (MW).  “This is another step forward as we move toward a more sustainable energy future and deep decarbonization,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE president and CEO. “These projects align with MGE’s short- and long-term carbon reduction goals. If approved, we look forward to the opportunity to grow cost-effective, clean energy to reliably serve our customers into the future.”

“Investing in these solar projects is the first step in our overall plan to add solar capacity to our generation portfolio and save WPS customers more than $100 million over the economic lives of the projects, as compared to projected prices in the power market,” said Gale Klappa, CEO of WPS.

WPS would own 200 MW and MGE 100 MW of the combined output at two locations. The Badger Hollow Solar Farm would be located in southwestern Wisconsin in Iowa County, near the villages of Montfort and Cobb, about 12 miles west of Dodgeville. WPS would own 100 MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Badger Hollow. The project is being developed by Invenergy, North America’s largest privately held renewable energy company based in Chicago, Illinois. The Two Creeks solar project would be located in the Town of Two Creeks and the City of Two Rivers in northeastern Wisconsin, near the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. WPS would own 100
MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Two Creeks. The project is being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC based in Juno Beach, Florida.

The total cost of both projects is expected to be approximately $390 million. If approved by the end of 2018, construction of both projects is expected to begin by spring 2019. Commercial operation of both projects would begin by the end of 2020.

ALLIANT ENERGY ANNOUNCES IOWA WIND FARM EXPANSION

Iowa customers and communities will
benefit because of a new renewable energy
source from Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy
company and Invenergy. The companies
announced the signing of contracts through
which Invenergy will complete development
of the 210-megawatt (MW) Richland Wind
Farm in Sac County, Iowa. Alliant Energy
will construct and own the wind farm.

Located in west-central Iowa, Richland
Wind Farm is expected to create more than
150 construction jobs as well as inject tens
of millions of dollars in economic benefits to the local area. It will be completed by early 2020 and is expected to produce enough clean energy for 80,000 average Iowa homes a year.

Richland Wind Farm is part of Alliant Energy’s plan to add 1,000 MW of new wind generation for its Iowa customers by the end of 2020. The expansion comes from five new wind farms in Iowa.  Richland Wind Farm is the fifth and final part of this project.

WUI REGIONAL MEETINGS HIGHLIGHT RENEWABLES, TRANSMISSION AND ENERGY FORECASTS

WUI 2018 Regional Meetings were held recently in Madison and Oshkosh. They addressed how Wisconsin Utilities are incorporating renewable energy into a cost benefit energy portfolio and how renewables impact the consumer and investor. An overview of the Strategic Energy Assessment (SEA) draft was presented at the Madison meeting by Martin Day, Administrator of the Division of Energy Regulation at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) and the same information was presented at the Oshkosh Regional by Holly O’Higgins, SEA Docket Coordinator for the Division of Energy Regulation at PSCW. Attendees in Madison were treated to an Alliant Energy Solar project presentation and on-site tour led by Dave Sinner, Project Manager II Customer Centric Generation. Robert Bartlett, Director of Public and Community Affairs and Zack Hill, Senior Resource Development Coordinator of Alliant Energy, presented Alliant Energy’s plan to incorporate renewables. In Oshkosh attendees learned about the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission line project by Director of Environmental and Local Relations, Gregory Levesque of American Transmission Company (ATC).

MGE ENERGY ANNUAL MEETING SPOTLIGHTED CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

The MGE Energy Annual Meeting highlighted clean energy investments, and new technologies. Nearly 1,800 shareholders gathered for the MGE Energy 2018 Annual Meeting during which they heard from company leadership on how Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), is harnessing the power of new technologies to reach clean energy goals. President and CEO Jeff Keebler said MGE is committed to reducing carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and at least 80 percent by 2050, a target consistent with the U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization (MCS). The MCS is the U.S. strategy for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

ALLIANT ENERGY INVESTING TO KEEP COSTS LOW

Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company has filed plans with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to build a wind project that will lower energy costs for Wisconsin customers starting in 2020. The proposed project will be located in North Central Iowa which has consistently strong wind resources. Customers will benefit directly from fuel-free renewable energy that provides long-term cost stability. The cost to build new wind projects has decreased significantly over the last several years. This is largely the result of continued technological advancements that improve turbine efficiency. This project would add 150 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power an additional 70,000 homes. The company’s Wisconsin customers already benefit from low-cost wind through Alliant Energy’s ownership in three wind farms.

WISCONSIN ALLIANT CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE A RATE FREEZE

Wisconsin customers of Alliant Energy will see no increase to base electric and natural gas rates through 2020 under a proposal filed with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). Customer rates will drop for the remainder of 2018 due to bill credits following a separate PSCW decision.

“The rate freeze is a win for customers,” according to John Larsen, President of Alliant Energy Corporation. “We’ve worked hard to hold the line on costs through 2020. It’s important to us to deliver cleaner power to families and businesses while keeping rates down.”

The company reached agreement on the proposal with significant input and collaboration from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group (WIEG). If approved by the PSCW, the plan would be in effect 2019-2020. A decision is expected later in 2018. No rate increase proposed for 2019-2020. The proposal reflects Alliant Energy’s efforts to lower operational and fuel costs, along with expected tax savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Included are investments for making electricity from cleaner and renewable sources. Alliant Energy’s retail electric rates are among the lowest in Wisconsin.

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