Xcel Energy First Quarter 2023 Earnings Report

  • First quarter GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.76 in 2023 compared with $0.70 in 2022.
  • Xcel Energy reaffirms 2023 EPS guidance of $3.30 to $3.40.

Xcel Energy has reported 2023 first quarter GAAP and ongoing earnings of $418 million, or $0.76 per share, compared with $380 million, or $0.70 per share in the same period in 2022.

Earnings reflect recovery of electric and natural gas infrastructure investment and other regulatory outcomes, partially offset by higher depreciation, operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses and interest charges.

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ENERGY ISSUES IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE

The Wisconsin Legislature kicked off it’s 2023-24 biennial session in late January and is currently busy reworking the State Budget. The revised Budget is expected to be adopted by the Legislature by the end of the fiscal year – June 30, 2023. Then, the Legislature will return to Madison in September to consider individual bills including at least two proposals that could impact your utility investments.

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XCEL ENERGY REPORTS ON PROGRESS RECOVERING WATER LEAKED AT MINNESOTA PLANT

Xcel Energy has reported on steps taken to contain and manage a water leak detected by routine groundwater monitoring systems at its Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant late last year. Xcel Energy took swift action to contain the leak to the plant site, which poses no health and safety risk to the local community or the environment.

Xcel Energy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as the state, on November 22, 2022, the day the leak was confirmed. The company has since coordinated regularly with state and federal regulators, as well as local officials.

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FOXCONN, WE ENERGIES PARTNERING ON SOLAR PROJECT ON MOUNT PLEASANT CAMPUS

Foxconn and We Energies 2,000 panels on the Taiwan-based company’s Mount Pleasant campus. Foxconn Technology Group describes the effort as “one of the largest nonresidential solar projects in Racine County” and said it is “committed to integrating green and sustainable practices throughout our operations.”

“As Foxconn’s operations in Wisconsin expand in response to market demand, the presence of renewable energy resources within the park demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship across the manufacturing supply chain to our customers and the community,” the company’s statement said. We Energies will install, own and maintain the 1-megawatt project which is capable of producing enough energy to power 300 homes. Renderings show the solar panels being installed around retention ponds at the company’s Mount Pleasant campus.

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XCEL ENERGY PROPOSES ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR CUSTOMERS’ BILLS

Xcel Energy has filed a request with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to create a new program to expand assistance to lower-earning households who need additional assistance to pay their energy bills. The proposal for the new program followed several months of discussion and coordination with the Citizens Utility Board.

The company’s proposal would make it the first utility in Wisconsin to offer a targeted assistance program and would increase the total amount of income-qualified support by fifty percent or an estimated five million dollars annually. As part of the new program, customers who already receive assistance from the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program would be automatically enrolled.

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BILL PROPOSED CONCERNING WIND TURBINE PROJECTS

Two Republican state lawmakers want to give local governments more say over wind turbine projects. Citing public health concerns, Senator Andre Jacque and Representative Ty Boden seek co-sponsors on a bill to restore the ability of towns and counties to impose restrictions on new turbine projects that are more restrictive than Public Service Commission rules.

A sponsorship memo cites the January collapse of a wind turbine in Dodge County, and notes turbine projects may potentially not be a good fit in some areas given the density of rural homes.

WEC ENERGY GROUP ANNOUNCES ORGANIC FLOW BATTERY STORAGE PROJECT

WEC Energy has announced that the company will lead a pilot project at its Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee to test a new form of long-duration energy storage. WEC Energy Group is collaborating with EPRI, an independent, nonprofit energy research and development institute, and CMBlu Energy, the developer and manufacturer of the long-duration battery based in California and Germany. This 1-to-2-megawatt-hour pilot project will be one of the first to test this type of energy storage system on the U.S. electric grid.

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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WISCONSIN GOVERNER'S PROPOSED 2023 BUDGET CONTAINS MANY UTILITY AND ENERGY RELATED ITEMS

Governor Evers' 2023 budget contains many utility related items below, if you have questions please contact WUI. 
  • Provides $10 million for “clean energy” job training and reemployment programs.
  • Requires the Public Service Commission to establish the social cost of carbon and requires the commission to consider the social cost of carbon when evaluating utility construction applications.
  • Allows utilities to securitize the entire remaining unpaid balance of a retiring power plant. Currently, only the unpaid balance of pollution control equipment may be securitized.
  • Establishes the Office of Environmental Justice to, in part, perform a climate risk assessment and create a resilience plan for state agencies.
  • Requires municipal comprehensive plans, local hazard mitigation plans and community health assessments to address the impact of climate change.
  • Provides $5 million GPR over the biennium to support a clean energy small business incubator.
  • Establishes the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy and creates a one-time $4 million GPR clean energy grant program.
  • Provides $500,000 SEG over the biennium to create a biodigester planning grant program.
  • Creates a sales and use tax exemption for property used primarily to store or facilitate the storage of energy produced by a solar, wind, or biogas renewable energy system for an anticipated reduction in tax revenue of $4.2 million over the biennium.
  • Establishes a workgroup to develop a “stretch energy code” for Wisconsin.

It is likely many of these items will be removed or modified by the Legislature when it receives the Budget Bill.

XCEL ENERGY 2022 YEAR END EARNINGS REPORTED

Xcel Energy has reported 2022 GAAP and ongoing earnings of $1.74 billion, or $3.17 per share, compared with $1.60 billion, or $2.96 per share, in the same period in 2021.  Earnings reflect capital investment recovery and other regulatory outcomes, partially offset by increases in depreciation, interest charges and operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses.


“2022 was another solid year for Xcel Energy, where we delivered for our customers, our communities, our employees, and our investors. We delivered earnings of $3.17 per share, which is the 18th consecutive year we have met or beat our original earnings guidance,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy.

“Our execution towards our clean energy future continues to lead the industry with regulatory approval in Colorado and the Upper Midwest by dramatically increasing the renewable energy available to our customers as we retire all of our coal-fired plants. And as a result of the energy tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, we are able to reduce the cost to our customers over the assets’ lives by billions of dollars as we power the nation’s clean energy transition.” 

XCEL ENERGY EMPLOYEES AWARD $5,000 TO FEED MY PEOPLE FOODBANK

Xcel Energy has announced that Feed My People Food Bank is the recipient of a $5,000 grant as part of the Xcel Energy Foundation’s 2022 Employee Choice Grant Award. Feed My People received the most votes from Wisconsin and Michigan employees. Each year, employees nominate nonprofits for the award, and all employees statewide then vote for a single finalist.

 “Xcel Energy coworkers are passionate about community service and supporting organizations that make a difference. We were delighted to receive over 30 nominations for this year’s award and know this grant will support Feed My People’s mission to ensure no one goes hungry,” said Karl Hoesly, President of Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan. 

GOV. EVERS APPOINTS SUMMER STRAND TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN

Gov. Tony Evers has announced his appointment of Summer Strand to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). The appointment fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Ellen Nowak, which was effective March 1. This appointment was effective March 2, 2023, for a six-year term expiring in 2029.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Summer on the State Building Commission for the past several years and I am confident that she will be an asset to the PSC and to the people of Wisconsin in this new role,” said Gov. Evers. “Having worked in several roles within state government and with trade and industry professionals alike, Summer will bring a depth of experience, dedication to service, and collaborative skills necessary to be successful at the PSC. I have no doubt she’ll serve the people of Wisconsin well as we continue building our workforce, economy, and state infrastructure for the 21st century.”

Strand has a long history of public service. Strand currently serves on the State of Wisconsin Building Commission (SBC), having been appointed by Gov. Evers in 2019 to serve as the sole citizen member of the commission.

WEC ENERGY GROUP POSTS 2022 RESULTS

WEC Energy has reported net income of $1.4 billion, or $4.45 per share, for 2022. This compares to earnings of $1.3 billion, or $4.11 per share, for 2021 — a year-over-year increase of 8.3 percent.

For the fourth quarter of 2022, WEC Energy Group recorded net income of $252.7 million, or 80 cents per share. This compares to earnings of $224.2 million, or 71 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Consolidated revenues totaled $9.6 billion for 2022, up $1.3 billion compared to 2021 revenues.

ALLIANT ENERGY ANNOUNCES 2022 RESULTS

MADISON, Wis. - February 23, 2023 - Alliant Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: LNT) today announced U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and non-GAAP consolidated unaudited earnings per share (EPS) for 2022 and 2021.

“In 2022, we delivered another strong year of financial results, demonstrated by our sixth consecutive year of 6% or more EPS growth and the 20th consecutive year of dividend growth,” said John Larsen, Alliant Energy Chair, President and CEO. “Looking forward to 2023, we are excited to continue executing our Clean Energy Blueprint across Iowa and Wisconsin and delivering the safe, reliable and affordable energy our customers and communities count on.”

Highlights

  • GAAP earnings per share were $2.73 in 2022 compared to $2.63 in 2021



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MGE FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END RESULTS

MGE Energy has reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and for the full year of 2022.

MGE Energy's earnings for the full year of 2022 were $111.0 million, or $3.07 per share, compared to $105.8 million, or $2.92 per share, for the same period in the prior year.

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PRIVATE SOLAR COMPANY SHUTDOWN LEAVES CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS

The abrupt shut down of privately owned Sun Badger Solar  has left customers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota wondering if their solar installations will be finished or if they will lose deposits for work that was never started.

Customers have lodged dozens of complaints with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, and law enforcement agencies in multiple communities are investigating customers' complaints of fraud. Furloughed employees of the Waukesha company wonder, without much hope, if they'll be called back or paid for work they did before the company as its finances unraveled.

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCED AT XCEL ENERGY

Xcel Energy's Wisconsin and Michigan’s new President, Karl Hoesly, recently announced the promotion of Mara Ascheman as Regional Vice President of Rates and Regulatory Affairs and Tyrel Zich as Regional Vice President of Regulatory Policy. Both will report directly to President Hoesly.

Ms. Ascheman is currently a principal regulatory attorney with more than 12 years’ experience representing Xcel Energy before the Wisconsin and Minnesota state regulatory commissions in a wide variety of electric and natural gas proceedings. In her new role she will direct the development of regulatory rate case filings and Public Service Commission permitting and oversee the revenue requirements for the Wisconsin and Michigan Company.

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ATC ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

American Transmission Company has promoted four executives who reflect the company’s commitment to the strategic vision of providing safe, reliable transmission service in an increasingly complex electric grid. Jared Winters has been named Vice President, construction and asset maintenance. Debbie Masbruch has been named Vice President, Project Controls, Supply Chain and Analytics. Sarah Justus has been named Director, Major Project Development. Michelle Stokes has been named Director, Field Services.

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Mike Rowe said, “Promoting these individuals sets ATC up for success as we meet the business challenges of the evolving energy landscape and our strategic priorities.”