Xcel Energy Announces Vision to Power All Vehicles With Carbon-Free Energy by 2050

Xcel Energy has announced a new transportation vision that drives toward providing the infrastructure and energy to run all vehicles in its service area on carbon-free electricity or other clean energy by 2050. Expanding upon the company’s existing 2030 electric vision supports its overall goal to become a net-zero energy provider by 2050. By enabling a zero-carbon transportation future, the company’s clean energy can also help customers save billions of dollars in fuel costs and deliver cleaner air for everyone.

“Xcel Energy is making incredible progress and has already reduced power sector carbon emissions by fifty percent since 2005,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President, and CEO of Xcel Energy. “As we expand our clean energy leadership to transportation, which is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation, we know that electric vehicles are a key component of our comprehensive strategy to be a net-zero energy provider by 2050.”

MGE Energy Increases Dividend for 47th Consecutive Year

The Board of Directors of MGE Energy has announced an increased the regular quarterly dividend rate approximately five percent to $0.4075 per share on the outstanding shares of the company's common stock. The dividend is payable September 15, 2022, to shareholders of record September 1, 2022. This raises the annualized dividend rate by eight cents from $1.55 per share to $1.63 per share.

"Today's dividend increase marks the company's 47th consecutive year of increasing its dividend, an accomplishment that everyone at MGE Energy can be proud of. We recognize the importance of dividend growth to the overall shareholder value proposition," Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler said. "We continue to move forward in our clean energy transition to achieve our goals of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and carbon reductions of at least 80% by 2030. Today's action by our board demonstrates the continued strength and resilience of MGE Energy's long-term business strategy in building your community energy company for the future."

MGE Energy has increased its dividend annually for the past 47 years and has paid cash dividends for more than 110 years.

ATC Named to Best Workplaces in List

Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine have honored American Transmission Company as one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production™. This is the fifth consecutive year ATC was named to this prestigious list, and the seventh overall time, this year coming in at number 13 on the list. Earning a spot means that ATC is one of the best companies to work for in the country.

The Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production award is based on analysis of survey responses from 57,000 current employees in the manufacturing and production industry category. In that survey, eighty-eight percent of ATC’s employees said ATC is a great place to work compared to fifty-seven percent of employees at the average U.S. company.

Wind Farm Site Being Prepped for Turbine Construction

Construction activities are underway at the future site of the Red Barn Wind Farm in Grant County. A subsidiary of Madison Gas and Electric will purchase a ten percent share of the 92-megawatt (MW) project when it’s complete.

Minnesota-based ALLETE Clean Energy is constructing the wind farm, which will consist of 28 turbines over about 12,000 acres. The land hosting the turbines will be leased from local landowners, who may continue to use it for farming or grazing. MGE’s share of the project is expected to generate enough energy to power about 4,000 households.

The company’s investment in the Red Barn Wind Farm is one of several renewable energy projects in various stages of development.

Natural Gas Wholesale Commodity Prices Increase; Xcel Explains How Customers Can Save Energy and Money

The price of natural gas affects both natural gas service and electric service because natural gas is also used to generate electricity. The cost of natural gas is paid directly by customers without any markup from Xcel Energy.

Wholesale natural gas prices continue to increase, hitting a fifteen year high. The wholesale price of natural gas was also higher than anticipated in the third quarter, leading to an under-collection from electric customers.

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Alliant Energy named a Top Utility in Economic Development

Site Selector Magazine has announced that for the fourth consecutive year Alliant Energy has earned their Top Utility in Economic Development honor. The annual list recognizes the company for its contributions to local community development and job creation.   

In its September issue, Site Selection credits Alliant Energy’s economic development team, in collaboration with local, regional and state economic development partners in Iowa and Wisconsin, for delivering more than $2.1 billion in new capital investment and creating more than 4,400 new jobs in 2021.  

Alliant Energy is one of twenty companies nationally named to the list and the only one in Iowa. In all, there are 3,300 utility companies, including 900 electric cooperatives, in the United States. 

XCEL ENERGY RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR MINNESOTA’S LARGEST SOLAR PROJECT TO REPLACE COAL GENERATION

Xcel Energy will move forward to build Minnesota’s largest-ever solar project at the Sherco plant site in Becker, as it transitions away from using coal at the site in the coming years. Today, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) provided the final approvals needed for Sherco Solar, which is a key component of Xcel Energy’s plan to nearly triple the amount of solar on its Upper Midwest system by 2028.

In addition to being the largest single solar development in Minnesota, the Upper Midwest and among the largest in the United States, Sherco Solar will provide clean energy while also being the lowest-cost solar on Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest system. It will also create jobs and investment in the Becker community as the Sherco coal plant is retired in the coming years. The solar project will serve as a direct replacement for most of the capacity of the first coal unit retiring at the Sherco plant.

WISCONSIN UTILITIES EXPECT TO SPEND MORE THAN $2B ON NEW TRANSMISSION

Utilities and renewable advocates say the projects will aid the clean energy transition, but some consumer groups have expressed concerns about the costs. Three new transmission lines that are estimated to cost around $2.2 billion will cross through Wisconsin under a large expansion approved by the Midwest grid operator that’s designed to facilitate the clean energy transition.

The Board of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator signed off on a $10.3 billion portfolio of 18 transmission projects for the Upper Midwest on July 25. The lines are expected to support 53 gigawatts of renewable energy and provide between $23 to $52 billion in benefits as utilities retire aging coal plants. Projects in Wisconsin are slated to start coming online as early as 2028.

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XCEL ENERGY PROPOSES EXPANDING ELECTRIC VEHICLE PROGRAMS AND HIGH-SPEED PUBLIC CHARGING

To help drive toward the future of clean transportation, Xcel Energy is proposing new and enhanced electric vehicle charging programs and high-speed public charging options in Wisconsin and Minnesota to make charging at home and on the go easy, fast and more affordable for all customers. The plan also includes new EV programs and solutions supporting businesses, multifamily buildings, community charging, transit and electric school buses.
“Interest in EVs continues to grow and the expansion of both private and public charging will help customers address range anxiety and achieve significant savings on their transportation costs while delivering cleaner air for everyone,” according to Mark Stoering, President, Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan.
This current proposal dramatically increases the number of public EV charging stations in the region, making it easier for drivers to charge on the go, by potentially adding 750 high-speed charging stations across Wisconsin and Minnesota. The company will work with interested communities and site hosts on locations for charging stations in both urban and rural areas, particularly along interstates, state highways and other traffic corridors.
The proposal also enhances the successful EV Accelerate at Home program, which provides a turn-key option working with local electricians to install a home charger, in both states to better meet customers’ needs and expands programs and charger options to help businesses provide EV charging for employees, renters, fleet vehicles and the public.
”Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., and our plan supports Minnesota’s target of having 20% of light duty vehicles in our state be electric by 2030 – not only because it reduces emissions and delivers cleaner air, but because charging an EV at home is the equivalent of about a $1 per gallon when charging overnight,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “This means real savings for drivers and, importantly, our plan positions both Xcel Energy and the Upper Midwest as a national leader in accessible, affordable charging options through innovative customer programs and infrastructure.”

ALLIANT ENERGY COMPLETES KOHLER, SHEBOYGAN SOLAR PROJECTS

Two Alliant Energy Customer-Hosted Renewables projects, the City of Sheboygan Solar Field and Kohler Solar Field, both recently became operational. The two projects highlight the flexibility of the Alliant Energy Customer-Hosted Renewables program, working with both public and private customers to make meaningful advancements in clean energy. In total, the projects could generate enough power for roughly 760 homes annually at maximum output.
“We are pleased to advance our transition to clean energy with the completion of the city of Sheboygan and Kohler solar projects,” according to David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Sheboygan-area residents will have access to the energy generated from these solar fields – just another example of how we keep customers at the heart of everything we do.”
The City of Sheboygan Solar Field utilizes land at the Sheboygan Business Center for a 1-MW solar project. The city will showcase the benefits of clean energy while receiving lease payments for twenty-five years.

INFLATION REDUCTION ACT – ENERGY ISSUES

Most economists agree that the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act will not actually impact inflation but it does contain provisions that will have a major impact on the energy industry including electric utilities. More than half of the spending in the bill - $385 billion – goes to climate and energy spending and tax breaks over the next five to ten years.

The bill includes extending the solar investment tax credit of 30% through 2033, extending the wind production tax credit through 2033, creation of a $30 billion loan/grant program to decarbonize the grid, creation of a interstate transmission line grant program and a new credit for qualified nuclear facilities. The bill also contains provisions designed to stimulate hydrogen production and a $7,500 tax credit to buy new electric vehicles along with a $4,000 credit for lower/middle income taxpayers to buy used electric vehicles.

Many of these provisions will benefit electric utilities. Look for a more detailed analysis in the next edition of the Voice.

XCEL ENERGY TAKES STEP TO ADD SIGNIFICANT CARBON-FREE ENERGY TO ITS UPPER MIDWEST SYSTEM

To help move the clean energy transition forward, Xcel Energy has announced it is seeking proposals to add significant carbon-free energy for its customers in the Upper Midwest through new renewable energy projects and energy storage projects. The company is seeking proposals from developers for at least 900 megawatts of electric generation to meet customers’ energy needs and help the company reduce carbon emissions by eighty-five percent in the region by 2030, compared to 2005, as it moves toward its vision of providing one hundred percent carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050.

As the company works to implement its recently approved Upper Midwest Energy Plan, this request calls for new solar projects, or solar projects with energy storage. The company aims to have about 300 megawatts of the new energy resources connect to the grid at the Sherco plant site in Sherburne County, Minnesota, to bring clean energy to the region as the coal plant is retired in phases beginning in 2023.

Under the company’s Upper Midwest Energy plan, more than eighty percent of customers’ electricity in the region would be carbon free by the end of the decade, with more than half coming from wind and solar. These projects will help move those plans forward. The plan calls for retiring all the company’s Upper Midwest coal plants by 2030, dramatically increasing wind and solar energy, and ensuring reliable, affordable energy by extending the generation of carbon-free nuclear energy at the Monticello plant for an additional 10 years, to 2040.

SECOND QUARTER 2022 EARNINGS | XCEL

Xcel Energy reaffirms 2022 EPS earnings guidance range of $3.10 to $3.20.

Xcel Energy has reported 2022 second quarter GAAP and ongoing earnings of $328 million, or $0.60 per share, compared with $311 million, or $0.58 per share in the same period in 2021. Earnings reflect capital investment recovery and other regulatory outcomes, partially offset by higher depreciation, interest expense and operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses.

“We had a solid quarter and as a result we are reaffirming our 2022 earnings guidance of $3.10 to $3.20 per share,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We achieved a significant regulatory milestone with approval of our Colorado Electric Resource Plan. Executing this plan and our Power Pathway transmission project will secure affordable, resilient, clean energy for our customers, reducing carbon emissions eighty-five percent in the state by 2030, generating eighty percent of electricity from renewable sources by the same year and retiring all coal generation in the state by January 1, 2031.”

Xcel Energy was also recently honored with several leadership awards, being inducted into the Climate Leadership Hall of Fame and receiving the Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award for ground breaking sustainability goals.

SECOND QUARTER 2022 EARNINGS | MGE, WEC, Alliant,

MGE Energy has reported second-quarter earnings of $21.8 million.
The company had net income of sixty cents per share. It posted revenue of $152.3 million in the period.


 

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Six More Solar Farms Approved for Alliant Energy in Central Wisconsin, Enough to Power 100,000 Homes

Alliant Energy is about to begin construction on six new solar projects in central Wisconsin that will generate enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes annually once completed. The utility has received approval for the projects from the Public Service Commission. 

The projects are Albany Solar in Green County, Beaver Dam Solar in Dodge County, Cassville Solar in Grant County, Paddock Solar in Rock County, Springfield Solar in Dodge County and Wautoma Solar in Waushara County. 

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XCEL ENERGY IS FIRST IN THE NATION WITH ALL-ELECTRIC BUCKET TRUCKS

Xcel Energy is taking the next steps in its journey toward electric transportation by becoming the first energy company in the nation to add all-electric bucket trucks to its fleet. Xcel Energy crews will use these new, quiet, zero-emissions trucks as they maintain the electric system and respond to outages after storms.  

MGE to Reduce Carbon Eighty Percent by 2030

Consistent with its commitment to sustainable energy and to global climate science, Madison Gas and Electric will reduce carbon at least eighty percent by 2030 as it works toward achieving net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. Under its Energy 2030 framework, announced in 2015, the company set a goal of forty percent carbon reduction by 2030, one of the first such goals set by a utility and in alignment with the Paris Agreement on climate change. 

Since then, the company has said it fully expects to achieve carbon reductions of at least sixty-five percent by 2030. In 2019, MGE established its goal of net-zero carbon electricity by mid-century, consistent with climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and analysis of the company’s goal by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

Alliant Helps Hollandale Get Faster Internet Speeds

Broadband service is about to get a major boost in Hollandale, Wisconsin, a rural community about 30 miles southwest of Madison. Alliant Energy and Mt. Horeb Telephone Company have announced a new partnership to expand high-speed internet service to nearly 150 households and businesses. Once expanded, customers will have access to up to 2,000 Mbps/2,000 Mbps (2-gigabit internet service).

Xcel Energy Foundation Provides More Than $300,000 in Grants

The Xcel Energy Foundation has announced it has awarded $305,000 to fifty-eight nonprofits in Wisconsin and Michigan to help provide funding for critical programs in their communities.

“At Xcel Energy we’re doing our part to support our customers and communities,” said Mark Stoering, president of Xcel Energy, Wisconsin and Michigan. “Our mission is to provide our customers safe, clean, reliable energy services, but we also know that the quality of life in our communities is equally important to their continued success.”

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Xcel Energy Elects New Board Member

 

  Xcel Energy has announced that has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. Burkhart is an accomplished executive with decades of experience in human resources compensation, culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Comerica Incorporated, a major financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She is responsible for leading the bank’s people strategy and organization for the $94 billion company. Prior to her current role, Burkhart served as Senior Vice president and Director of Compensation. She joined Comerica in 1997.

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