ROBERTS APPOINTED PSC COMMISSIONER

Gov. Scott Walker recently announced that Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Lon Roberts will replace current Public Service Commissioner Phil Montgomery whose term on PSC ends next month. Montgomery had served 12 years in the Wisconsin Assembly before his six-year term on PSC.  Roberts, Montgomery’s replacement, was a partner and president at a law firm in Wausau and served as chair of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board before becoming DFI secretary in February 2016.

SETTLEMENT REACHED…

IN ALLIANT ENERGY’S RIVERSIDE ENERGY CENTER CASE

Alliant Energy’s plans to build a combined cycle natural gas-fueled generating facility near Beloit, WI, took a major
step forward as the company reached settlement with two key intervenors in the case, We Energies and Wisconsin
Public Service Corporation. The agreement creates mutual opportunities for the parties to invest in joint-ownership
generation projects and contemplates a joint-development agreement for renewable resources among other items.
Alliant Energy has filed the agreement on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin’s (PSCW) website in docket no.
6680-CE-176.

“We’ve been able to work cooperatively with our neighboring utilities to find a solution that makes sense for energy
customers across Wisconsin,” said Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “Along with
the modernized Riverside Energy Center, we believe this agreement will help control energy costs for Wisconsin
customers for years to come.”

Alliant Energy filed for regulatory approval of the proposed 650 megawatt natural gas-fueled plant with the PSCW in
May 2015. Technical hearings before the PSCW began December 21, 2015.

PSC Approves New Transmission Project and Rebuild


The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has approved a new electric reliability transmission line project near the Village of Eden, Wisconsin. At an open meeting, the commissioners agreed on the need for the Creekview Interconnection Project and approved the north route proposed by ATC in its application filed earlier this year.

“This 138,000-volt transmission line will support the low-voltage distribution system in the region by connecting to a new We Energies substation,” according to Barbara Mikolajczyk, ATC project manager.

The project was announced in Spring 2014 and includes a new We Energies substation, called Creekview, located on the north side of County Highway F, east of Greenway Road, and a new, 9-mile, 138-kV transmission line to provide service to the new substation.

The new transmission line will be co-located with an existing 345-kV line. The estimated project cost is $25 million to $26 million. A more refined cost estimate will be included in the PSC’s final order for the project, which is anticipated to be issued within the month. Construction is projected to begin in Fall 2016, with an in-service date of January 2018.

The PSC has also issued an order to rebuild a 14-mile, 138-kV transmission line in southeastern Wisconsin. The St. Martins-Edgewood-Mukwonago Rebuild Project runs from the St. Martins Substation in Franklin to the Edgewood Substation in Big Bend and continues on to the Mukwonago Substation in Mukwonago.

Lower Fuel Costs Could Offset We Energies Price Increase

Lower natural gas and coal costs could offset most of a small price hike that is set to hit electricity bills of We Energies customers next year. The utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission to reduce by more than $17 million the amount it wants to spend for fuel burned in its power plants.
Lower natural gas prices are expected compared with this year, and lower costs to deliver coal by train to Wisconsin are now expected. In addition, the utility is forecasting $8 million in savings because more of the coal burned at its new power plant in Oak Creek will be less-costly coal mined in Wyoming, he said.
The plant was designed to burn coal mined in the eastern United States, but the utility is testing the ability of the plant to burn more western coal. Those reductions offset several increases in costs that the utility is expecting, including $4 million in higher costs to buy power from the Point Beach nuclear plant and higher costs of chemicals used in air pollution control equipment at coal-fired power plants. The fuel-cost savings would amount to 51 cents a month for a typical customer now paying $101.72 a month, according to We Energies.

Xcel Energy Proposes Increasing its Fixed Electric Charge

Following the lead of three other Wisconsin utilities, Xcel Energy
has proposed to increase the fixed charge customers pay on their
electricity bills each month. The charge would rise to $18 a month
from $8 under a rate plan Xcel’s Northern States Power utility
filed Friday with the state Public Service Commission.

The proposal follows the PSC’s approval of increases for
customers of three Wisconsin utilities, including Milwaukee-
based We Energies. Wisconsin regulators have ruled that the
increases are necessary to ensure that customers producing
their own power, but still connecting to the grid, are not being
subsidized by other customers. The companies need to recover
their fixed costs; for example, costs linked to poles, power lines
and customer call centers.

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