Alliant Energy’s Iowa Company Reaches Partial Settlement on Pending Rate Review

Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company has filed a proposed partial settlement agreement in its 2017 electric rate review. This agreement creates cost certainty for customers and allows Alliant Energy to continue to advance cleaner energy, to strengthen the reliability of Iowa’s power grid and provide innovative customer solutions.

“This collaborative process with our customer groups and our company created a fair agreement that supports our objective to provide exceptional service to our customers,said Doug Kopp, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “I want to thank the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate, the Iowa Business Energy Coalition and the Large Energy Group for coming together on this agreement.”

On April 3, 2017, Alliant Energy filed its first rate review in six years. An interim base rate increase went into effect ten days later. This agreement increases base rates less than 2 percent above interim rates. Under this agreement, the total increase from this base rate review would be 8.6 percent. Spread over the last six years, this increase would have equated to less than 1.5 percent annually. The final bill impact for each customer class will be decided as part of the rest of the rate review process.

Through the rest of 2017, customers will also continue to receive bill credits related to tax benefits and refunds on transmission expenses to offset the base rate increases and maintain competitive customer costs. In addition, under this agreement Alliant Energy will give more tax-related bill credits to customers in 2018.

Xcel Proposes Northern Wisconsin Transmission Line

Xcel Energy is proposing a new 22-mile, 34.5-kilovolt transmission line at the tip of northern Wisconsin. The roughly $26 million project is necessary to strengthen power in the area, according to the company.

Xcel Energy has one transmission line providing power to the Bayfield Peninsula which was installed during the 1950s, said project manager Chris Buboltz. He said it’s difficult to maintain the line or restore power during outages because it’s not easy to access.

“We’re just not able to do those maintenance and those refurbishment projects because we can’t take the line out to do them because people will be out of power,” he said.

Buboltz said they’ve seen outages ranging from four to eight hours in the area due to accessibility and safety issues. Xcel’s proposed line would include installing poles within the first 5 feet of a landowner’s property line. Around 130 private landowners would be impacted by the project along with 7.5 miles of county forest land. Town of Washburn resident Roy Settgas said the new line would cross his property which doesn’t bother him. But, he said it’s drawing concern for some landowners and requests for more consideration of the proposed route. Buboltz said Xcel is delaying its timeline to start the permitting process with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, which the company had set to begin in October. He said Xcel wants to talk with more people about the project and why they feel it’s needed.

PSC Approves Brown County Bioenergy Project

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has approved a conditional $15 million Focus on Energy grant to BC Organics, LLC, for an innovative bioenergy system in Brown County. The system will produce renewable natural gas from dairy farm manure and other waste. The project will reduce the need to landspread raw manure, protect sensitive groundwater and surface waters in northeastern Wisconsin and provide positive economic benefits to participating farms.

At the direction of Governor Walker, the PSC, Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection collaborated to develop a request for proposals (RFP) on innovative anaerobic digester systems that could produce renewable energy, remove nutrients from manure, protect water quality, and reduce pathogens.

BC Organics was recommended unanimously by the evaluation team comprised of expert staff from the PSC, DNR, DATCP, UW-Madison and Focus on Energy. BC Organics must obtain all of the necessary state and local regulatory approvals before construction may begin and includes an odor control plan designed to minimize impacts on neighboring landowners.

The consortium consists of 24 members led by Wisconsin based Dynamic Concepts (Waukesha), along with WEC Energy Group (Milwaukee), US Biogas LLC (Plymouth), and BioStar  Organics, among other Wisconsin based firms.

The project’s proposed location is northeast of Holland, near Green Bay, and is co-located with a proposed landfill owned by Brown County.  It has commitments from nine Wisconsin farms with over 22,000 animal units, with the capability to expand to include additional farms in the future. The facility is expected to begin operations by January 1, 2019.

The project involves the construction of multiple anaerobic digesters with capability to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) from manure and food waste, and eventually landfill gas. The estimated energy output of 5.7 million therms is equivalent to the home heating needs for 7,600 Wisconsin homes. The RNG will be injected into the interstate natural gas pipeline system for use
as a heating and transportation fuel.

WUI 2017 Annual Meeting Attracts Record-Breaking Crowd

WUI Executive Director, James Buchen, addresses the crowd at the 2017 WUI Annual Meeting of Members

A record number of WUI members joined us at the EAA in Oshkosh on September 14 for the
Annual Meeting! It would be safe to say, not only do utility stockholders share a respect for
the energy industry and reliable dividend returns, but they also share a love of history and
transportation!

This presents a good problem in looking to the 2018 Annual Meeting, how do we improve upon
the 2016 National Railroad Museum and the 2017 Experimental Aircraft Association Museum?

The Wisconsin Utility Investors Board of Directors wish to thank all who attended, who braved
the morning fog. We are also grateful to our excellent speakers, Andy Smith of Edward Jones
who addressed the group about “Making Sense of Investing” and Garrett J. Huffman (Research
Assistant to Mike Kuglitsch, Committee Chair on Energy and Utilities) who presented a
legislative review and a new legislative proposal which would reduce state tax on dividends.

What would an Annual meeting be without an update from our Utilities? John Sumi of MGE
Energy, Joel Haubrick of WEC Energy, and Chris LaRowe of WPS discussed the latest Issues
Impacting Wisconsin Utilities.

Thank You to the staff at the EAA and to the docent, Chris Henry, who presented a history of the
EAA and led members on a guided tour of the museum.

ENERGY RESEARCH CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES FIVE NEW MEMBERS

The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium has welcomed four new members to the
M-WERC team. SAS Institute, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas and Electric, OSIsoft and Tetra
Tech have all joined. M-WERC also thanked Kohler Company for their renewed support of
our organization. The SAS Institute is the world’s largest privately held software business
and is based out of Cary, North Carolina. They are a founding member of the Smart Cities
Technologies working group.

XCEL ENERGY BOARD ELECTS NEW BOARD MEMBER

David K. Owens has been elected to Xcel Energy’s Board of Directors effective immediately. An executive with
extensive experience in public policies concerning energy and utility operations, Owens is recognized as an
industry
expert on business transformation.

After 36 years of service, Owens recently retired from the Edison Electric Institute, the association representing
all
U.S. investor-owned electric companies. He served as an Executive Vice President with EEI and was the first African-American to hold an officer title with the organization. Owens guided the association on issues affecting
the future
structure of the electric industry and the new rules in evolving competitive markets.

XCEL ENERGY WIND PROJECTS DELIVER FOR CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES

Xcel Energy recently announced the nation’s largest multi-state investment in wind energy with eleven new wind
farms in seven states. Adding 3,380 megawatts of new wind generation will keep customer bills low now and in the
future. It is an example of the significant value wind energy provides to customers and communities as the country
recognizes the inaugural American Wind Week. The American Wind Energy Association launched American Wind
Week, August 6-12, 2017, to acknowledge U.S. leadership in wind power, along with economic and environmental
benefits of wind as the industry expands to meet the country’s growing demand for energy.

“As the nation’s No. 1 utility wind provider for more than a decade, we’ve long recognized this abundant natural
resource provides tremendous value to our customers and communities,” according to Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy
Chairman, President and CEO. “Wind power is emissions-free and cheaper than fossil fuels, allowing us to deliver lower prices and cleaner energy to our customers today and in the decades to come.”

Xcel Energy has more than 6,600 megawatts of wind energy on its system companywide, representing eight percent
of the nation’s total wind capacity – enough to power about three million average homes annually. The company’s
customers use energy generated from nearly 4,300 wind turbines in seven states; Colorado, Texas, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Wisconsin and Michigan customers benefit from the power
generated by the turbines as well.

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