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XCEL ENERGY NAMES NEW PRESIDENT FOR MINNESOTA, NORTH DAKOTA AND SOUTH DAKOTA

Xcel Energy has announced that Chris Clark, current President of Xcel Energy – Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, will retire March 1, 2024. Ryan Long, Xcel Energy’s interim general counsel, will succeed Clark as the new president, effective January 1, 2024.

“I want to thank Chris for his tremendous contributions to the company. He helped lead the nation’s clean energy transition and was instrumental in driving our wind leadership to new heights in the Upper Midwest,’’ said Bob Frenzel, Xcel Energy’s chairman, president and CEO.

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PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION REJECTS MGE's PROPOSED CHANGES TO RESIDENTIAL SOLAR REIMBURSEMENT

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has rejected a proposal by Madison Gas & Electric that would have changed how the utility reimburses residential solar owners for energy they put back into the grid. 

State regulators are expected to make a decision on a different utility's proposal to change solar reimbursement at a later time. 

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FORD PRO AND XCEL ENERGY COLLABORATE TO INSTALL EV CHARGING PORTS FOR BUSINESS FLEETS

Ford Pro, the commercial division within Ford Motor Company, and Xcel have announced a unique collaboration to support the deployment of 30,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in Xcel Energy service territories across the U.S. by 2030 with most upfront costs offset by Xcel for qualifying business fleet customers.

Ford Pro and Xcel Energy are launching the 30x30 initiative within Xcel Energy’s broader Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure (EVSI) program to scale EV adoption and increase access to charging infrastructure for business fleets across Xcel Energy’s service areas in the U.S. Through the program, most upfront costs for EV charging equipment and installation for businesses will be offset by Xcel Energy. Ford Pro will offer its suite of end-to-end charging solutions to Xcel Energy business customers as part of the effort. 

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JC CULLEN INVESTS AS ANCHOR TENANT IN ALLIANT ENERGY'S SOLAR GARDEN IN JANESVILLE

JP Cullen, a $500+ million, full-service construction company headquartered in Janesville with additional offices in Madison and Milwaukee, is the first local business to announce plans to be an anchor tenant in Alliant Energy’s Janesville Community Solar garden. The community-funded solar garden will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and positively affect the environment through the support of residential and business customers.


JP Cullen has purchased 10 percent of the 9,000 solar blocks at the 2.25-megawatt project, to be located east of the Rock Haven Assisted Living facility on county-owned property. The garden will power up to 1,800 homes at maximum output. Alliant Energy will begin construction next spring and expects the project to be operational by the end of 2024.

FIRST OF ITS KIND ENERGY PROJECT IN US TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN COLUMBIA COUNTY

Columbia County may soon be home to one of the most sustainable, advanced energy storage systems in the country, according to Alliant Energy. The company has announced it has been selected for a grant of up to approximately $30 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) for a proposed 200-megawatt hour energy storage system. 


Alliant Energy’s new battery system, known as the Columbia Energy Storage Project, would be the first-of-its-kind in the United States and represents a significant advancement toward a more sustainable, reliable and cost-effective energy future.

XCEL ENERGY ANNOUNCES OTHER LEADERSHIP CHANGES

Xcel Energy has announced other changes to its executive leadership team. Brett Carter, Executive Vice President, Group President of Utilities and Chief Customer Officer, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Current Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance officer Amanda Rome has been named to this role, effective immediately. The company’s four operating company presidents and customer organization leaders will report to Rome.

Ryan Long, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, will step in as General Counsel and oversee the legal and corporate compliance group on an interim basis.

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XCEL BOARD DECLARES DIVIDEND


The Board of Directors of Xcel Energy has declared a quarterly dividend on its common stock of 52 cents per share. The dividends are payable January 20, 2024, to shareholders of record on December 28, 2023.

WEC ENERGY GROUP REPORTS 3RD QUARTER RESULTS

On October 31, 2023, WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC)  reported net income of $316.0 million, or $1.00 per share, for the third quarter of 2023 — up from $302.0 million, or 96 cents per share, in last year's third quarter.

For the first nine months of 2023, the company recorded net income of $1.11 billion, or $3.52 per share — down from $1.16 billion, or $3.65 per share, in the corresponding period a year ago.

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LEGISLATION MAINTAINS WISCONSIN CONTROL OVER TRANSMISSION SYSTEM

Recently introduced legislation (SB 481/AB 470) will allow Wisconsin utilities to maintain control over construction and operation of transmission infrastructure in this state. Without these bills, out of state investors will be allowed build and operate any new transmission lines which will not only harm investors but also consumers because a balkanized system will inevitably be more costly to build an operate.

Specifically, the bills provide a right of first refusal to incumbent transmission line owner/operators for any new transmission line projects. This will protect the current system which is owned and operated primarily by Xcel Energy and the American Transmission Company which, in turn, is owned by Alliant Energy, Madison Gas and Electric, WEC Energy Group and several Wisconsin municipal utilities.

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XCEL ENERGY TO NEARLY TRIPLE SOLAR ON UPPER MIDWEST SYSTEM BY 2028

Xcel Energy is proposing to add an additional 250-megawatt solar project near the existing Sherco plant site in Becker, Minnesota, which will soon be home to the Upper Midwest’s largest solar development and represents an important piece of the company’s clean energy future.

Xcel Energy has asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to add a third solar array adjacent to the 460-megawatt Sherco Solar project already under construction. The three solar projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2025 and will replace the capacity of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit that is scheduled to retire later this year. As part of its expansion of solar energy it delivers to customers, Xcel Energy is also proposing to purchase power from the 100-megawatt Apple River solar project being developed in northwest Wisconsin.

WEC ENERGY GROUP'S CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS

WEC Energy Group has released its 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the company's environmental, social and governance performance. The report outlines the progress made by WEC Energy Group and its family of companies on major projects and the company's commitment to the environment and the economies of the areas it serves.

The report also examines the company's climate strategy and the research and development of emerging technologies such as hydrogen power and long-duration battery storage.

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ALLIANT ENERGY: Q2 EARNINGS SNAPSHOT

Alliant Energy has reported earnings of $160 million in its second quarter. On a per-share basis, the company said it had profit of 64 cents. The electric and gas utility parent company posted revenue of $912 million in the period.

Alliant Energy expects full-year earnings to be $2.82 to $2.96 per share.

MGE: QUARTER 2 EARNINGS REPORTED

MGE Energy has reported net income of $28.7 million in its second quarter. On a per-share basis, the company said it had net income of 79 cents. The public utility holding company posted revenue of $148 million in the period.

XCEL ENERGY SECOND QUARTER 2023 EARNINGS REPORTED

Xcel Energy has reported 2023 second quarter GAAP and ongoing earnings of $288 million, or $0.52 per share, compared with $328 million, or $0.60 per share, in the same period in 2022.

Earnings reflect the impact of unfavorable weather, higher operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses and interest charges, without expected increases in regulatory recovery to offset these drivers including the outcome of the Minnesota Electric Rate Case.

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WEC ENERGY GROUP REPORTS SECOND-QUARTER RESULTS

WEC Energy Group has reported net income of $289.7 million, or 92 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2023 — up from $287.5 million, or 91 cents per share, in last year's second quarter. For the first six months of 2023, the company recorded net income of $797.2 million, or $2.52 per share — down from $853.4 million, or $2.70 per share, in the corresponding period a year ago. Consolidated revenues totaled $4.7 billion for the first six months of 2023, down $317.9 million from revenues in the first half of 2022.

"After a down first quarter marked by one of the warmest winters on record, we delivered solid results in the second quarter. And we're firmly on track for a strong 2023," said Gale Klappa, executive chairman. "We're focused on the fundamentals of our business — financial discipline, operating efficiency and customer satisfaction."

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XCEL ENERGY ANNOUNCES CLEAN HEAT PLAN TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS IN THE NATURAL GAS SYSTEM

Xcel Energy has announced its Clean Heat Plan, the company’s first significant proposal to strategically reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the natural gas system. 

The Clean Heat Plan, one of the first of its kind, provides a pathway to reduce emissions consistent with state goals and further implements Xcel Energy’s net-zero emissions goal for its natural gas business. The Plan fast-tracks clean, resilient, innovative solutions while ensuring our customers receive the reliable, affordable energy they need to power their lives. Designed to accommodate customers’ unique needs, the Plan offers a portfolio of solutions customers can choose that work for them, leading to greater emission reductions at a lower cost.

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NEW ONLINE DATA TOOL GIVES USERS INSIGHT INTO WISCONSIN'S ENERGY MIX

The Public Service Commission has a new online tool that makes it easier to determine the state’s energy mix. The "Wisconsin Energy Statistics" portal provides a snapshot of energy use in Wisconsin, as well as that energy’s economic and environmental impacts. 

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has published energy data in a physical book since 1976. In a statement, PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq said the new online resource aims to make that information more accessible.

WEC ENERGY LOOKS TO EMERGING STORAGE TECHNOLOGY AS IT BUILDS OUT RENEWABLES

WEC Energy Group executives say the Wisconsin-based utility holding company will lead a test of a new type of long-duration energy storage at its 266.6MW Valley natural gas plant in Milwaukee. The nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute and German manufacturer CMBlu Energy AG will use the site to run a flow battery made with components from abundant, recyclable materials. The battery will be tested for discharge durations of up to 10 hours, starting in the fourth quarter of 2023. "We believe it can store energy for up to twice as long as the typical batteries in use today," Gale Klappa, WEC's Executive Chairman, said during a Feb. 2 earnings call. "We plan to launch the project at our Valley Power Plant near downtown Milwaukee in the fourth quarter of this year when temperatures turn cold. The results will be shared in early 2024 across the industry.

"These batteries are expected to provide safe and reliable operation, with a high energy density that will enable compact solutions for a variety of applications for electric utilities," the company said in its news release. WEC is yet another U.S. utility searching for reliability solutions to replace fossil fuel generation with billions of dollars worth of new intermittent wind and solar plants over the decade. WEC is also partnering with the EPRI on a hydrogen project. Citing the availability of new U.S. tax credits for renewable energy projects, WEC in late 2022 announced a revised five-year capital plan of $20.1 billion. It will allocate $7.3 billion to building up to 3,300 MW in new wind, solar and storage projects as it retires its coal capacity by 2035.”

Klappa said the company expects the five-year investment plan to drive compound earnings growth of 6.5 percent to seven percent per year over the period 2023 through 2027.

WEC ENERGY GROUP TO ACQUIRE EIGHTY PERCENT STAKE IN TEXAS SOLAR PROJECT

WEC Energy Group has announced an agreement to acquire an eighty percent ownership in a large solar project in Texas. 
The company says it will be spending about $250 million on the Samson I Solar Energy Center, located about 140 miles northeast of Dallas. The facility began commercial operation in May 2022 and is currently covered by a long-term power purchase agreement with AT&T, according to a release. 

“The Samson Solar project is an exciting addition to our Infrastructure business and highlights our continued investment in affordable, reliable and clean energy,” WEC Energy Group Executive Chairman Gale Klappa said in a statement. “This project will help one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies meet their clean energy needs for years to come.” 

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XCEL ENERGY AND BAYIELD COUNTY PARTNER TO BUILD FIRST MICROGRID

Xcel Energy and Bayfield County have signed an agreement to partner to construct Wisconsin’s first microgrid under an innovative new utility program. Through Xcel Energy’s EMPOWER Resiliency program, Bayfield County in far northern Wisconsin, will build a microgrid to enhance the county’s emergency services and response system, ensuring it is capable of operating in the event of a utility outage without interruption.

Xcel Energy was the first utility in Wisconsin to begin offering a comprehensive program to support microgrids and other resiliency projects for large business customers and governmental entities who require a higher than standard service reliability. The program is designed to be technology agnostic and allows customers to choose resiliency options to best meet their needs. 

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