Former Coal Property to be Auctioned

As previously reported, a property on the western shoreline
of Milwaukee’s inner harbor is now under discussion for
potential other uses. Wisconsin Gas first put in a bid for
the Solvay Coke land in June, 2016, but this spring could
finally complete its purchase. WEC Energy says it has
no specific plans for the property.

In a January 10 bankruptcy filing, attorneys sought approval
of Wisconsin Gas’s offer. If the sale plans are approved
during a scheduled late January hearing, other companies
would have until March 21 to submit competing offers of at
least $4.2 million. If any more bidders emerge, an auction
will be held April 3 in Chicago to determine the buyer and a
judge will be asked to approve the sale the following day.

MGE Energy Declares Regular Dividend

*It has come to our attention that there was a typo in the February Newsletter reporting of the MGE quarterly dividend rate.  The corrected article follows.  We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

 

The Board of Directors of MGE Energy has declared the
regular quarterly dividend of 30.75 cents per share on
the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock,
payable March 15, 2017, to shareholders of record at the
close of business March 1, 2017.  MGE Energy has
increased its dividend annually for the past 41 years and
has paid cash dividends for more than 100 years.

Seventy-Eight Percent of Wisconsin CEOs are Optimistic About the Economic Future

 

The new survey of member CEOs by Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce shows optimism for
a Donald Trump administration and a sharp
reversal of economic outlook from six months ago.

Kurt Bauer, President and CEO of WMC said the
group surveyed 270 of it’s member CEO’s the
week after Donald Trump was elected to be the
next president of the United States. “Seventy-eight
percent of our members are either optimistic or
very optimistic for a Trump presidency in their
business and the economy,” he said.

Opinions about the future of the economy have shown
a significant improvement. Six months ago, 84 percent
of respondents said the U.S. economy was headed in the
wrong direction. Now, 60 percent say it is headed in the
right direction

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.

American Transmission Company’s Headquarters Sold

The American Transmission Company corporate headquarters
in Pewaukee, a 13.9-acre property, has been sold to an
affiliate of Cleveland-based MAI Capital Management by an
affiliate of Chicago-based Oak Street Real Estate Capital.

The owner purchased the ATC headquarters in 2012 for
$65 million from Interstate Partners. The facility is known as
RidgeView Office Center III. It has a three-story 123,833-
squarefoot office building, a 33,600-square-foot industrial
building and 357 parking spaces. The buildings were
constructed in 2009.

Anne Spaltholz, ATC director of corporate communications,
said the company has a long-term lease for the facility and
there will be no changes to its operations.

MGE Announces Leadership Changes

 

Madison Gas and Electric and MGE Energy have announced
that effective March 1, 2017, Gary Wolter will retire as
President and CEO of MGE Energy and its subsidiary,
Madison Gas and Electric Company. Jeffrey Keebler will
assume the roles of President and CEO at that time.  Wolter
will continue as Chairman of the Board of both companies.

Keebler also was appointed to the Boards of Directors of
both companies effective March 1, 2017. The announcement
reflects the Company’s succession planning and thoughtful
transition in executive leadership. The Company remains
committed to its mission as a community energy company.

Wolter took over as President and CEO of both MGE and
MGE Energy in February 2000 and took over as Chair in
February 2002.  Upon his retirement, Wolter will be the
longest serving Chair and CEO in Company history.

“It has been an honor to serve our community over the
years and work with such dedicated and capable coworkers.
I am grateful for this opportunity,” Wolter said.

Keebler started with MGE in 1995. He has a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Finance and Economics from the
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Master of Business
Administration from the University of Wisconsin-
Whitewater. He has held various leadership positions at
MGE in Energy Supply, Rates, Generation Planning,
Information Technology, Customer Service and Human
Resources. He is currently MGE’s Senior Vice President –
Energy Supply and Planning. “I look forward to building
on the foundation laid by my predecessors and addressing
the challenges of the future,” Keebler said.

Jeffrey Newman, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial
Officer, Secretary and Treasurer, will take on an expanded
role. Gregory Bollom, Assistant Vice President – Energy
Planning, and John Jicha, Director – Energy Supply and
Trading, will report to Newman. Craig Fenrick, Senior Vice
President – Energy Operations, also will take on additional
responsibilities. Joseph DePoorter, Director -NERC
Compliance and Generation Operations, will report to
Fenrick.

WEC Interested in Former Coke Plant Property

WEC Energy may buy a 46-acre former Solvay Coke property in Milwaukee. After an environmental clean-up effort, the site could be an important part of the harbor area’s redevelopment.

The contaminated property has frontage on the Kinnickinnic River and Milwaukee’s inner harbor south of Greenfield Avenue. Although contaminated from past years of industrial use, the property’s size, water frontage and location south of downtown has made Solvay Coke a perennial subject of redevelopment talks. Former industrial buildings were torn down earlier this summer.

The property has been owned by Golden Marina Causeway LLC, of Illinois, which has been going through an ongoing bankruptcy case.

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