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.

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.

WEC ENERGY TO BUILD NEW UPPER PENINSULA POWER PLANTS

An Upper Peninsula iron ore mine will buy power for twenty years from WEC Energy Group under an agreement designed to provide a long-term power solution for the region whose residents have faced uncertainty over rate hikes. Under the deal, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy will add 170 megawatts of natural gas-powered electricity across two new sites in the U.P. The power will supply Cleveland-based Cli? Natural Resources’ Tilden Mine and other customers. The agreement stems from a 2015 settlement with the state of Michigan. WEC’s coal-?red Presque Isle Power Plant would still close by 2020.

WEC Energy Group Posts Second Quarter Results

WEC Energy Group recorded net income of $181.4 million, or 57 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2016 as compared with $80.9 million, or 35 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2015. WEC Energy Group was formed on June 29, 2015 when Wisconsin Energy completed the acquisition of Integrys. The company’s earnings per share for the second quarter, excluding acquisition costs, decreased by 1 cent per share, from 58 cents in the second quarter of 2015 to 57 cents in the second quarter of 2016.

“Our focus on customer service, operating efficiency and financial discipline contributed to results that place us on track for the year,” according to Allen Leverett, Chief Executive Officer.

Consolidated revenue for the second quarter of 2016 totaled $1.6 billion, compared to $990 million in the second quarter of 2015. The increase was driven by the addition of $620 million of revenue from Integrys. At the end of June, WEC Energy Group’s utilities were serving approximately 38,000 more customers than the same time a year ago. Wisconsin utilities added about 9,000 more electric customers and nearly 14,000 more natural gas customers in the past year. The company’s natural gas utilities in Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota added nearly 15,000 customers compared to a year ago. Retail sales of electricity for Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation – excluding the iron ore mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – increased by 3.0 percent from last year’s second quarter. Residential use of electricity was up by 7.7 percent. Consumption of electricity by small commercial and industrial customers increased by 2.2 percent.

WEC Earnings Accelerate In First Quarter

In part as a result of the acquisition of Integrys Energy Group, Wisconsin Energy has reported net income of $346.2 million, up from $195.8 million in last year’s first quarter. Earnings per share were $1.09, compared with 86 cents last year. Analysts who follow the company were expecting profit of $1.01 per share. That $9.1 billion deal added Wisconsin Public Service in Green Bay as well as Peoples Gas in Chicago and natural gas utilities in Michigan and Minnesota.

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