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ALLIANT ENERGY ANNOUNCES ACCELERATED SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

Alliant Energy has released its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR) highlighting their purpose-driven strategy. The company’s purpose, to serve customers and build stronger communities, is supported by accelerating their sustainability goals and investing in the communities they serve. Alliant Energy’s new report highlights all aspects of the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance programs. It also includes a new aspiration for Alliant Energy to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 from electricity the company generates and a new goal of eliminating all coal from its generation fleet by 2040. These goals are part of the company’s Clean Energy Vision which is highlighted in the report.

XCEL CONTINUES INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP WITH NEW CLIMATE REPORTING

Xcel Energy has released a new report providing an even more comprehensive view of its clean energy strategy and preparedness for managing the risks associated with climate change and the opportunities associated with clean energy. The report, which responds to the recommendations of the international Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, shows that the company’s clean energy strategy is well-suited to adapt to the risks of climate change and creates shareholder and customer value.

The Task Force’s framework asks organizations to report on four categories related to climate change including: governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets. It also recommends that companies develop a climate scenario analysis testing the resilience of their strategies. The company has signed on as an official supporter of the Task Force, one of only five U.S. based electric companies to do so.
Xcel Energy’s evaluation details climate-related disclosures important to investors and other stakeholders. The report shows the value of the company’s strategy of deploying renewable and other clean energy resources, building a more resilient energy grid and meeting the evolving needs of customers, all while keeping service reliable and bills low. It further reinforces Xcel Energy’s commitment to its vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050 even as the COVID-19 pandemic forces businesses in the United States and around the world to reevaluate their strategies.

WEC ENERGY ACQUIRES OWNERSHIP IN TATANKA RIDGE WIND FARM

WEC Energy Group has announced that the company has agreed to acquire an eighty-five percent ownership interest in Tatanka Ridge Wind Farm under construction in Deuel County, South Dakota. The project is being developed by Avangrid Renewables, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. Commercial operation is expected to begin by early 2021. The project has long-term offtake agreements for one-hundred percent of the energy produced with a multinational investment grade company and a well-established electric cooperative that serves utilities in multiple states. The Tatanka Ridge site will consist of fifty-six wind turbines with a combined capacity of 155 megawatts. WEC Energy Group’s investment is expected to total $235 million for the eighty-five percent ownership interest and substantially all of the tax benefits.

WEC ENERGY GROUP TO REACH “NET-ZERO” CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2050

WEC Energy Group, which owns We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, released its Corporate Responsibility Report outlining plans to retire coal fueled units, build advanced technology natural gas units and invest in cost-effective, zero-carbon renewable generation in order to be carbon neutral by 2050. WEC announced in 2019 that it exceeded 40 percent by 2030, giving reason for its updated goal of 70 percent by 2030.

XCEL ENERGY ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 2020 EARNINGS

Xcel Energy has reported 2020 second quarter GAAP and ongoing earnings of $287 million, or $0.54 per share, compared with $238 million, or $0.46 per share in the same period in 2019.

“Despite lower sales due to COVID-19, Xcel Energy achieved strong second quarter results primarily due to the positive impact of weather and cost management efforts. We are on track with our financial plan and are reaffirming our 2020 earnings guidance of $2.73 to $2.83 per share. However, we’ll continue to monitor and manage through the economic uncertainty of this pandemic,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy.

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XCEL ENERGY’S NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE VISION TO SAVE BILLIONS

Xcel Energy has announced its vision to drive toward powering 1.5 million electric vehicles in its service areas by 2030. As a result of this vision, EVs would make up twenty percent of all vehicles on the road in those areas, more than 30 times the number today, helping save customers billions of dollars in fuel costs, while significantly cutting carbon emissions from transportation.

By making it easy for more people to use EVs through new charging infrastructure and customer programs, the company’s vision will build the future of clean, affordable transportation in the eight states it serves. As drivers, ride-share companies, public transit and other fleet operators replace vehicles with EVs, they will see substantial savings on fuel, because driving electric is equal to spending about $1 per gallon of gas and can be significantly less when charging overnight. By 2030, an EV would cost $700 less per year to fuel than a gas-powered car, saving customers $1 billion annually. To make the company’s vision a reality, it will need the support of policymakers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

WEC ENERGY SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS

WEC Energy Group has reported second-quarter earnings of $241.6 million. On a pershare basis, the Milwaukee-based company said it had net income of 76 cents. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 69 cents per share. The electricity and natural gas provider posted revenue of $1.55 billion in the period. WEC Energy expects full-year earnings to be $3.71 to $3.75 per share. WEC Energy shares have increased three percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased slightly more than two percent. The stock has climbed slightly more than nine percent in the last 12 months.

MOREY FIELD SOLAR DELIVERING LOCALLY GENERATED CLEAN ENERGY

Madison Gas and Electric’s 5-megawatt Morey Field Solar array at Middleton Municipal Airport is fully operational and delivering locally generated, sustainable, carbon-free energy to the electric grid. Morey Field Solar is the second array in MGE’s popular Shared Solar program. The community solar program provides residential and business customers throughout MGE’s electric service territory an easy, convenient way to power their home or business with local solar.

PSC LIFTS MORATORIUM ON UTILITY DISCONNECTIONS

Customers who fall behind on their utility bills will soon face late fees and the prospect of having their power shut off after three months of government protection during the coronavirus pandemic. The Public Service Commission has voted unanimously to lift a moratorium on disconnections and other penalties that was put in place following executive orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers in March. Utilities will be allowed to send disconnection notices beginning July 15 to customers who are behind on their bills and have not worked out payment plans. Those customers could see power turned off as soon as July 25.

ALLIANT ENERGY OPENS NEW NATURAL GAS GENERATING STATION

The newly built West Riverside Energy Center near Beloit, Wisconsin, has officially put into service its 730-megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas system, generating energy for customers of Alliant Energy. “We are proud to put our West Riverside Energy Center into service to provide reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities,” according to David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Community support, strong partnerships, and hard work by countless employees, contractors, and suppliers made this a successful project. We appreciate the collaboration we have with the neighbors, the town and city of Beloit, Rock County, the state of Wisconsin, and the many other organizations, businesses, and individuals who continue to support this facility.”

WE ENERGIES DOWNTOWN BUILDING SUSTAINS MAJOR RAIN DAMAGE

Heavy rains have caused a major headache for We Energies. The company issued the following statement: “Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of our steam system in Downtown Milwaukee – creating large steam plumes in parts of downtown. We are investigating a steam system outage that is impacting some customers.” We Energies officials say they don’t know what exactly caused the system of underground steam tunnels in downtown Milwaukee to be flooded with an unprecedented “tidal wave” of water during a major rainstorm. Not only did the steam outage leave hundreds of businesses without heat and hot water for several days, it did major damage to We Energies’ historic headquarters at North 2nd and West Michigan streets. “The estimate to repair is more than $10 million and may take as long as two months before we can reopen the building,” We Energies spokesman Brendan Conway said.

XCEL ENERGY HAS RESUMED RESIDENTIAL METER READING

In-person meter reading, which had been temporarily on hold for Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin and Michigan’s residential customers since mid-April due to COVID-19 concerns, has resumed. While many electric and gas meters are read automatically, some require an in-person reading. If customers have one of these meters, they should allow in-person meter readers and field crews to do their critical work.

WISCONSIN UTILITIES ON TRACK FOR REDUCTION IN CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2026

Emissions this year are expected to be significantly lower than they were 15 years ago, thanks to recent coal plant retirements. The findings are part of a draft Strategic Energy Assessment, a short-term forecast the Public Service Commission is required by law to complete every two years to look at the adequacy and reliability of the state’s electric grid. According to the draft, Wisconsin electric providers as a whole are on track to achieve a forty percent reduction of 2005 carbon emissions by 2026 — ahead of the 2030 target some have laid out.

ALLIANT ENERGY TO RETIRE COAL-FIRED GENERATION FACILITY IN SHEBOYGAN

With an eye toward delivering cleaner, more cost-effective energy, Alliant Energy has announced plans to retire the Edgewater Generating Station in Sheboygan by the end of 2022. Closing the coal generation facility and transitioning to renewable energy will help Alliant Energy customers avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term costs.

TRANSMISSION LINE INSPECTIONS HAVE BEGUN

Xcel Energy transmission patrol crew has been flying helicopters alongside lines in Wisconsin to perform inspections to ensure the electric system remains reliable through the summer cooling months. The inspections also meet federal regulatory compliance requirements to secure a reliable electric system.
The crews will identify potential trouble spots along these lines or structural issues that need to be addressed and repaired. They will also look for encroachment issues, such as buildings on or near right of ways, or trees growing too close to transmission lines. Inspections on all Xcel Energy transmission lines in Wisconsin will take about 4-6 weeks. Helicopters will fly within fifty feet of transmission lines at varying speeds. At times the helicopter will hover near infrastructure to perform more detailed inspections. The exact flight schedule is dependent on weather and flying conditions.

PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY ANNUAL MEETINGS

Due to COVID 19 and stay at home orders, the Public Utility companies will be hosting their stockholder Annual meetings virtually. Below is the list of companies, their meeting date, and how to attend. 

WEC Energy Group
WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) will hold a virtual-only 2020 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. Central/2:30 p.m. Eastern time.  Sign Up

MGE Energy 2020 Annual Meeting Update 
This is an important update regarding our Annual Meeting on May 19, 2020, at 11 a.m. CST.
Since the printing of your proxy materials, we have modified the format of our Annual Meeting from an in-person meeting to a virtual meeting. Sign Up Online




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A NOTE FROM YOUR WUI BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dear Wisconsin Utility Investor Members,

During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, please know of our caring concern for your health and well-being. We will continue to bring you the utility news you need in order to make educated decisions regarding your investor-owned utility stock. 

Looking ahead, we are also considering whether in-person meetings are prudent in 2020. Please check our website and see future newsletters for updates regarding our September Annual Meeting and the Regional Meetings in October. If you care to share your opinion on the possibility of virtual rather than in-person meetings, please email us at [email protected].

PSC APPROVES UTILITY COVID-19 COST RECOVERY

Wisconsin investor-owned utilities will be able to recover some expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis. However, the relief will be at a lower rate of return than companies had requested. The Public Service Commission has voted to allow investor-owned utilities to track and defer expenses and lost revenues related to maintaining service under health emergency orders which prevent them from shutting off service or collecting late fees. The PSC split on the rate of interest on that money, with the majority favoring short-term borrowing costs which range from 2.7 percent to 3.4 percent depending on the company.

XCEL ENERGY AND ITS FOUNDATION TO DONATE $1.5 MILLION FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

Xcel Energy has announced that as part of its plans to dedicate more than $20 million to new corporate giving, including COVID-19 relief, Xcel Energy and the Xcel Energy Foundation will donate the first $1.5 million in the eight states it serves before the sale of the Mankato Energy Center closes later this summer. The company previously announced last that the net proceeds from that sale, expected to be more than $20 million, will go to short and long term corporate giving, including COVID-19 relief.

As part of the donation, the Xcel Energy Foundation is matching employee donations up to $1,000 at a rate of two dollars for every dollar donated, tripling the amount of the gift, up to $300,000. Within a week, employees donated $112,000 dollars. With the Foundation match of more than $223,000, that’s a donation of nearly $335,000. 
One million dollars of the money donated by Xcel Energy and its foundation is designated for existing nonprofit partners along with organizations that address food insecurity and those that provide disaster relief, including local chapters of The United Way and regional food banks. Xcel Energy serves communities in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan.

WE ENERGIES AND WISCONSIN PUBLIC SERVICE FOUNDATIONS COMMIT $1 MILLION TO COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service have announced they are contributing $1 million through their charitable foundations to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundations will provide grants to nonprofit organizations supporting front-line efforts — primarily hospitals, first responders and food pantries.

“At a time like this, our commitment to the safety and welfare of our employees and the communities we serve has never been more critical,” said Kevin Fletcher, president and CEO — WEC Energy Group. “Our foundations have supported organizations serving our communities for decades. It is in that tradition that we are driven to support these vital services as they face unprecedented challenges.”

To increase the impact of the relief effort, the foundations are earmarking $300,000 of the $1 million to match, dollar for dollar, the personal donations made by employees to organizations fighting the effects of the pandemic.