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XCEL ENERGY PROPOSES MICROGRIDS TO IMPROVE RELIABILITY

Xcel Energy wants to provide some users in Wisconsin with custom-built systems of generators and batteries known as microgrids to bolster resilience against violent storms and other disruptions.
The utility has asked regulators to approve a pilot program designed to serve large customers who need “higher than standard” service reliability at datacenters, hospitals and municipal services like first responder stations, communications centers and emergency shelters.
While the program is based on one tested at by its Colorado subsidiary, Xcel said it has heard from Wisconsin customers who would like the service. The cities of La Crosse and Eau Claire have signaled support for the program and say they hope to use microgrids at their wastewater treatment plants and other public facilities.

XCEL ENERGY TO REDEEM OUTSTANDING SENIOR NOTES

Xcel Energy has announced that it submitted a redemption notice to the trustee to redeem all of its outstanding 2.60% Senior Notes, Series due March 15, 2022 (Notes) on December 1, 2020, (Redemption Date). The redemption price is equal to the greater of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes and a make whole premium, which will be calculated three business days prior to the Redemption Date in accordance with the terms of the Notes and related indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the Redemption Date. The aggregate principal amount of Notes currently outstanding is $300,000,000.

PSC APPROVES ELECTRIC RATE FREEZE, GAS INCREASE FOR MGE

Madison Gas and Electric customers will pay 4.1 percent more for natural gas next year but see no change in electricity rates. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has voted unanimously to approve a one-year rate structure negotiated between the utility, consumer advocates and UW-Madison. It is expected to cost the average residential customer about $27 next year. The $19 MGE charges residential customers each month, regardless of how much electricity they use, is the second-highest among Wisconsin utilities.

ALLIANT TO BUILD 400 MEGAWATTS OF SOLAR IN IOWA - RETIRE COAL PLANT

Alliant Energy has announced plans to stop burning coal at two Iowa generators as part of an ongoing transition to clean energy.
The company said that its Iowa subsidiary will retire a 275-megawatt Lansing coal plant south of La Crosse on the Mississippi River by the end of 2022 and convert its 212-megawatt plant in Burlington to burn natural gas next year. Alliant plans to add up to 400 megawatts of solar generation by 2023, which would make renewable energy account for nearly half of the company’s Iowa generation portfolio. The plan also calls for up to 100 megawatts of “distributed energy resources,” such as battery storage, community-owned solar and demand management programs by 2026.
Alliant CEO John Larsen said the plans will help the company meet its goal to reduce carbon emissions by one half in the coming decade and avoid more than $300 million in ratepayer costs over the next 35 years.
“We continue to lead the way toward a clean energy future for our customers,” Larsen said in a statement. “Investing in renewable energy, like wind and solar, benefits our customers, the communities we serve and the environment.”
Alliant said retiring the 43-year-old Lansing plant will allow it to avoid “significant investments” required to comply with changing environmental regulations.

ALLIANT ENERGY TO ELECTRIFY LIGHT-DUTY FLEET VEHICLES

Alliant Energy announces 100 percent of the company’s active light-duty fleet vehicles will be electric by 2030.
“Our customers and the communities we are privileged to serve benefit from our plan to electrify our fleet vehicles and our commitment to a cleaner energy future,” said JP Brummond, Vice President of Business Planning at Alliant Energy. “By transitioning to electric vehicles, we reduce the total cost of ownership of our fleet and reduce emissions. The savings are an element of our ongoing focus to maintain affordable rates for our customers while also contributing to a cleaner  environment for all to enjoy.”
Electric vehicles offer several advantages for customers and communities, including lower total cost of ownership through reduced fuel costs, less maintenance and fewer direct emissions. To achieve this goal, Alliant Energy will replace e nd-of-life light-duty vehicles, including up to half-ton pickups, sedans, SUVs, passenger vans and forklifts, with Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. More information on electric vehicles is available at alliantenergy.com/ev.

PSC APPROVES WISCONSIN BIENNIAL STRATEGIC ENERGY ASSESSMENT

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has finalized and approved the state’s 2026 Strategic Energy Assessment (SEA). Electric providers and transmission owners operating in Wisconsin are required to file specified historical and forecasted data on electric system operations, providing forecasted information from January 1, 2020, through December 21, 2026. A draft of the SEA was made available for comments and suggestions from the public and interested parties in June of 2020.
According to the Commission, “The SEA shows the continued reliability and adequacy of Wisconsin’s electric supply, as well as the progress made in emission reductions as the state continues its transition to zero-carbon fuels. This transition is due to sharply declining costs of clean energy as well as the state’s largest utilities’ carbon reduction goals.”

XCEL ENERGY TO REPOWER OLDER WIND FARMS

Xcel Energy has announced plans to repower older wind farms with new technology in the Upper Midwest. The company is asking for proposals to give legacy wind farms currently serving Xcel Energy customers with a new life from improved technology as part of its commitment to expand renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions. As the company works with state leaders and regulators to spur the economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, these projects will create hundreds of construction jobs and lower costs for customers while increasing the amount of carbon free renewable energy in the region. Repowered wind projects can typically generate at least ten percent more electricity annually with updated technology.

WEC ENERGY GROUP DECLARES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND

The Board of Directors of WEC Energy Group have declared a quarterly cash dividend of 63.25 cents per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable December 1, 2020, to stockholders of record on November 13, 2020. This marks the 313th consecutive quarter, dating back to 1942, that the company will have paid a dividend to its stockholders.

XCEL ENERGY DONATES $100,000 FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

Xcel Energy has announced it will donate $100,000 to local organizations in western and northern Wisconsin to support those that are working with individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. The donation is part of Xcel Energy and the Xcel Energy Foundation’s plan to continue to support its communities through ongoing and future philanthropy as nonprofits and other organizations work to address various needs related to the pandemic.
“At Xcel Energy we continue to look for ways to support our customers and communities during this very challenging time,” said Mark Stoering, President, Xcel Energy, Wisconsin and Michigan. “This includes ongoing financial support and through various activities like our annual Day of Service. We are committed to assisting in any way we can to keep our communities safe, healthy and viable places to live and work.”

ALLIANT ENERGY’S KOSSUTH WIND FARM OPERATIONAL

Alliant Energy’s Kossuth Wind Farm is now operational and generating renewable energy to benefit customers, communities and the environment. This news follows the previous announcement that the company achieved its milestone to add 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for Iowa customers. The 150-MW Kossuth Wind Farm is located in the north-central part of Iowa, an area with consistently strong wind resources. This project includes 56 turbines and is expected to provide enough energy to power 57,000 homes.

PSC APPROVES EXPANSION OF MGE 20-MEGAWATT FARM IN FITCHBURG

Madison Gas and Electric has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for a 20-megawatt solar array to be built in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Known as the O’Brien Solar Fields, the project will provide locally generated solar energy to local businesses, municipalities and public institutions under MGE’s innovative Renewable Energy Rider.
“Clean energy is important to MGE, to our project partners and to our community. The O’Brien Solar Fields will add 20 MW of locally generated, cost-effective carbon-free energy to our electric grid,” said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. “Partnerships like this one advance shared energy goals and help MGE achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050.”

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.