BLOG

MGE PROPOSES $31.7M SOLAR FARM IN FITCHBURG

Madison Gas and Electric has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for approval of 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.

“This is an exciting project for our participating customers and for MGE. Twenty megawatts of locally generated, cost effective carbon-free energy on our electric grid will help us achieve our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050
and the sustainability goals of these customers,” according to MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. “We
are thankful for their support and their participation and look forward to bringing what will be one of the largest solar
arrays in the state to Dane County.”

ALLIANT ENERGY: ANNOUNCES SIX NEW SOLAR PROJECTS IN WISCONSIN

Alliant Energy has announced plans to acquire and advance 675 megawatts (MW) of solar in mostly rural areas in six Wisconsin counties: Grant, Jefferson, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan and Wood. The projects are the next step in the company’s Clean Energy Blueprint, a strategic road map to cost-effectively accelerate renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions. 

Once operational, the energy from the projects will be enough to power 175,000 homes per year – making Alliant Energy the largest owner-operator of solar in Wisconsin. Collectively, these projects are expected to create more than 1,200 local construction jobs, and, once operational, will provide an estimated $80 million in local tax revenues over the next 30 years.
“Solar energy is a smart investment for our Wisconsin customers,” said David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “At a time when much is changing, these projects will provide steady revenue to Wisconsin communities, create new construction, operation and maintenance jobs, and provide our customers with reliable and sustainable energy for years to come. Along with the rest of the Clean Energy Blueprint, these projects will help customers avoid more than $2 billion in long-term costs.”

Read More

WEC ENERGY GROUP REPORTS FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS

WEC Energy Group has reported net income of $452.5 million, or $1.43 per share, for the first quarter of 2020 – up from $420.1 million, or $1.33 per share, for the first quarter of 2019. Consolidated revenues totaled $2.1 billion, down $268.8 million from last year’s first quarter.

“We delivered another solid quarter, despite mild winter temperatures and an economic downturn that began in late March as businesses closed to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman. “In the months ahead, we will continue to focus on employee safety and on executing the fundamentals of our business – world-class reliability, customer satisfaction and financial discipline.” He added, “Our team is experienced and resilient. I’m confident we’ll shine through the challenges ahead.”

Read More

ALLIANT ENERGY’S WEST RIVERSIDE ENERGY CENTER HONORED

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) has announced that Alliant Energy’s West Riverside Energy Center project recently earned the Envision Platinum rating for sustainable infrastructure – the highest Envision recognition level.

This is Alliant Energy’s sixth power generation facility to receive Envision recognition, which demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure planning and design. 

Read More

SOLAR PROJECT AT DANE COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT RECEIVES REGULATORY APPROVAL

Madison Gas and Electric has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for an agreement to partner with Dane County on a 9-megawatt (MW) solar array near the Dane County Regional Airport. The solar array will generate enough carbon-free electricity to provide Dane County with about 40% of the energy used by all County-owned facilities, according to the County.

“Clean energy is important to MGE, to Dane County, and to many who live and work here. We support the County’s clean energy goals and are excited to partner on this project to add more locally generated renewable energy,” according to MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. “Partnerships like this will help MGE achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050.”

ALLIANT PROJECTS REDUCTION IN SALES, NOT PROFITS

Alliant Energy says the COVID-19 pandemic will likely cause a 5 percent decline in sales, but should not affect shareholder profits this year. Alliant has announced first-quarter profits of 70 cents per share, up from 53 cents in the same period last year.

The gains were attributed to growing ratepayer-backed investments by its Wisconsin and Iowa utilities, offset by lower sales attributed to mild weather. Alliant said quarterly earnings were not significantly affected by COVID-19.

KLAPPA, FLETCHER CITE MILESTONES AT ANNUAL MEETING

At WEC Energy Group’s virtual annual meeting of stockholders Executive Chairman Gale Klappa and President and CEO Kevin Fletcher highlighted the work of more than 7,000 employees across the region, who are providing essential energy service during the COVID-19 health crisis. They also emphasized that 2019 was “another year of solid results,” pointing to achievements in financial performance, network reliability and infrastructure upgrades.

Highlights:

Read More

Xcel Energy Inc. Board Declares Dividend on Common Stock

The Board of Directors of Xcel Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: XEL) declared a quarterly dividend on its common stock of 43 cents per share. The dividends are payable July 20, 2020, to shareholders of record on June 15, 2020.

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




Read More

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.

ALLIANT ENERGY DONATES $2 MILLION TO HOMETOWN CARE ENERGY FUND

Alliant Energy is making a $2 million donation to its Hometown Care Energy Fund. The fund assists customers that need financial help to pay their bill. Alliant Energy knows that many customers may face financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. This contribution shows the company’s ongoing commitment to serve customers in Iowa and Wisconsin and help those in need. The fund is supported annually with funds from Alliant Energy shareowners as well as voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and customers.

PEOPLES GAS AND NORTH SHORE GAS CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO CHICAGO SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago sited Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, parts of WEC Energy Group, will contribute more than $1 million in funding, as well as personal protective equipment, to help 42 community organizations across the region provide vital services in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

WEC ENERGY GROUP DECLARES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND

The Board of Directors of WEC Energy Group has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 63.25 cents per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable June 1, 2020, to stockholders of record on May 14, 2020. This marks the 311th consecutive quarter — dating back to 1942 — that the company will have paid a dividend to its stockholders.

XCEL ENERGY NAMES NEW CHIEF NUCLEAR OFFICER

Pete Gardner has been named Xcel Energy’s Chief Nuclear Officer. He succeeds Tim O’Connor who has held the role since 2013 and was promoted to Chief Generating Officer of Xcel Energy, effective March 31.

UTILITIES ORDERED TO MAINTAIN SERVICE DURING HEALTH EMERGENCY

Wisconsin regulators have ordered the state’s utilities not to disconnect residential service during the ongoing public health emergency. The Public Service Commission has also ordered gas, electric and water utilities to make “reasonable attempts” to reconnect service to any occupied dwellings that have been disconnected.

Under 2000 customers had been disconnected for nonpayment before the announcement. The moratorium has been extended until the crisis has passed.

NEW, FASTER CAR CHARGERS IN BEAVER DAM HWY 151 CORRIDOR

New Level 3, superfast chargers in Beaver Dam can bring a fully depleted electric vehicle (EV) battery back to eighty percent strength in the time it takes to get a bite to eat according to Alliant Energy. The company has installed a new charging station at the Park Village Shopping Center at the busy interchange of Highways 33 and 151. The station can charge four cars at one time. It has two Level-3 and two Level-2 chargers. Keller Real Estate Group, owner of the Park Village Shopping Center, donated the property for the charging station.

SOLAR ENERGY

SOLAR FARM PLANNED NEAR MITCHELL AIRPORT
In late July, crews are expected to begin building an eight-acre solar farm with more than 7,000 panels near Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport that will be the largest of its kind in the city. It also could be followed by more major solar projects by the City of Milwaukee and partner WEC Energy Group Inc. The initial installation, when complete in fall, will cover about 8 acres of a former city landfill between East College Avenue and the 128th Air Refueling Wing base near Mitchell airport.

The city owns about 45 total acres of former landfill in that spot, and will have discussions over putting more solar cells there in the future, according to Erick Shambarger, director of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office. The initial installation will generate 2.25 megawatts of electricity, which is the maximum amount state regulators allowed for a single customer under the WEC Energy program that will finance the project.


WISCONSIN’S SECOND-LARGEST SOLAR FARM PLANNED IN KENOSHA COUNTY


Read More