PEOPLES GAS UNDERWRITING CHICAGO NAVY PIER’S PAVILION

Chicago based Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, is contributing $5 million to the Navy Pier to fund what will be known as the Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion in Polk Brother’s Park at the entrance to the Pier. Peoples Gas said it is making the contribution to honor the company’s 100-year partnership with Navy Pier, which was one of the gas company’s first commercial customers. When completed later this year, the 4,000-square-foot Welcome Pavilion will include a landscaped roof with panoramic views, a cafe and information for arriving visitors about what the Pier has to offer. Pier officials estimate that approximately 9 million people a year visit the Pier.

NEW TRANSMISSION LINE IN THE WORKS

American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative have plans for a high-voltage transmission line connecting northeastern Iowa and western Wisconsin that would provide economic benefits, improved reliability and better access to renewable energy resources for the region. Dubbed the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project, the 345-kilovolt line would run for 125 miles from Dubuque County, Iowa, to Dane County, Wisconsin. Various alternative routes are currently being considered and the companies expect to file a formal application with regulators some time in 2018-19.

WUI MEMBERS TRAVEL TO MADISON FOR DAY AT THE CAPITOL

Over 100 WUI members from across the state travelled to Madison to meet with their legislators during a critically important budgetary crunch time at our capitol. Members caught busses en-route from Green Bay and Milwaukee and also drove from points West and locally. Legislators from 16 Senate districts and 33 Assembly districts were visited. Each legislator was briefed on who Wisconsin utility shareholders are, how WUI represents a shareholder’s interests, and more specifically regarding the Wisconsin Utility Investor opposition to Senate Bill 115 and Assembly Bill 198 which seeks to nullify existing leased generation contracts.

Thank you to all who attended, braving the wet weather and construction! WUI is also very grateful for our wonderful guest speakers, Commissioner Mike Huebsch and Senator Scott Fitzgerald, for their unique insights into the regulatory and budgetary processes.

ALLIANT ENERGY PLANT IN NEED OF REPAIRS

One of Alliant Energy company’s key power plants has been out of service since September and is in need of $25
million in repairs. The Riverside plant outage came to light when the agenda for the state Public Service Commission
meeting was recently released.

The company says the thirteen-year-old plant near the Town of Beloit isn’t expected to restart until July. The
natural
gas-fueled facility shut down in September for regular maintenance. Alliant spokesman Scott Reigstad
says the
generating station wouldn’t restart properly when the utility tried to restart it in November. When operating, the plant produces enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.

WISCONSIN COMMUNITIES SCORE 355 TREES THROUGH ATC, BUCKS PARTNERSHIP

The Milwaukee Bucks welcomed American Transmission Company to center court
during its last regular season game. The company is donating 355 trees to Wisconsin
communities as part of a partnership called Trees for Threes with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Trees for Threes program sponsors the planting of a new tree in Wisconsin for each
three-point shot the Bucks made at the BMO Harris Bradley Center this season. That total
was 355 after the Bucks’ last regular season game. The team far surpassed its three-point
tally from last season, which was 220 three-pointers made at home.

ALLIANT ENERGY NAMES NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF WISCONSIN OPERATIONS

Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy Corporation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, has announced that
David de Leon has been named Vice President of Wisconsin Operations. In his role, de Leon will lead the company’s
Wisconsin energy delivery and generation operations. He will report directly to Doug Kopp, Senior Vice President of
Operations.

De Leon has extensive experience in the implementation and integration of large capital projects at Alliant Energy’s
generating stations. He most recently served as Director of Construction and oversaw numerous Wisconsin facility
performance improvements and air quality control projects.

He has been with Alliant Energy for thirty years and previously managed several generation facilities and served in
numerous project engineering positions. He holds an MBA from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, and a
Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.

De Leon is a Wisconsin Registered Professional Engineer. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, a member of the Leadership Greater Madison Alumni Association and is involved in initiatives with the
United Way of Dane County.

Legislative Update

The 2017-18 Legislature convened its first regular session in January of this year.
In February, Governor Walker introduced his Biennial Budget proposal (AB 64/SB 30)
which governs the state’s taxing and spending for the next two years beginning in July
2017. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has begun its review of the proposal
and the Budget is expected to occupy most of the Legislature’s time and attention until
the bill finally passes in late June.

Of significant interest to utility shareholders, legislation has been introduced by Senator
Stroebel and Representative Ott (SB 115) that will allow the Wisconsin Public Service
Commission (PSC) to retroactively modify or terminate, existing and previously approved,
leased generation contracts. Currently, under such contracts, public utilities are able to
lease electrical generating facilities from their affiliates. This type of financing arrangement
has been used in Wisconsin to facilitate the investment of billions of dollars in new generation
facilities in recent years.

Under current law, the PSC may modify or terminate such contracts only as specified in the
contract itself, or the original order approving the original contract. Under the provisions of
SB115, the Public Service Commission could unilaterally invalidate or modify these contracts
which could significantly impact a utilities rate of return and dividend payout.

The sponsors of the bill believe that modifying these existing contracts will force a
reduction in electric rates. However, the current rates are necessary to generate a fair rate
of return for utility shareholders based on the recent investments Wisconsin utilities have
made in new electric generation.

If this proposal makes investment in Wisconsin utility stock less attractive for many small
investors, it will become more difficult for Wisconsin utilities to raise the necessary capital
to maintain and upgrade our electrical system. In the long run, this hurts consumers
who will have to pay even higher rates to finance the additional borrowing and internally
generated capital needed to replace their equity investment.

Investors seeking stability and reliability have the choice of investing in a wide range
of electric utilities across the country. To the extent that Wisconsin utilities become a
less attractive investment option, shareholders can go elsewhere, while consumers in
Wisconsin are simply left with higher electric rates.

Wisconsin utilities, WUI and many key legislative leaders have already expressed concern
over this bill. You can add your voice of opposition by attending WUI’s Legislative Day in
Madison on May 24, 2017.

« Older Entries