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Six More Solar Farms Approved for Alliant Energy in Central Wisconsin, Enough to Power 100,000 Homes

Alliant Energy is about to begin construction on six new solar projects in central Wisconsin that will generate enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes annually once completed. The utility has received approval for the projects from the Public Service Commission. 

The projects are Albany Solar in Green County, Beaver Dam Solar in Dodge County, Cassville Solar in Grant County, Paddock Solar in Rock County, Springfield Solar in Dodge County and Wautoma Solar in Waushara County. 

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XCEL ENERGY IS FIRST IN THE NATION WITH ALL-ELECTRIC BUCKET TRUCKS

Xcel Energy is taking the next steps in its journey toward electric transportation by becoming the first energy company in the nation to add all-electric bucket trucks to its fleet. Xcel Energy crews will use these new, quiet, zero-emissions trucks as they maintain the electric system and respond to outages after storms.  

MGE to Reduce Carbon Eighty Percent by 2030

Consistent with its commitment to sustainable energy and to global climate science, Madison Gas and Electric will reduce carbon at least eighty percent by 2030 as it works toward achieving net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. Under its Energy 2030 framework, announced in 2015, the company set a goal of forty percent carbon reduction by 2030, one of the first such goals set by a utility and in alignment with the Paris Agreement on climate change. 

Since then, the company has said it fully expects to achieve carbon reductions of at least sixty-five percent by 2030. In 2019, MGE established its goal of net-zero carbon electricity by mid-century, consistent with climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and analysis of the company’s goal by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

Alliant Helps Hollandale Get Faster Internet Speeds

Broadband service is about to get a major boost in Hollandale, Wisconsin, a rural community about 30 miles southwest of Madison. Alliant Energy and Mt. Horeb Telephone Company have announced a new partnership to expand high-speed internet service to nearly 150 households and businesses. Once expanded, customers will have access to up to 2,000 Mbps/2,000 Mbps (2-gigabit internet service).

Xcel Energy Foundation Provides More Than $300,000 in Grants

The Xcel Energy Foundation has announced it has awarded $305,000 to fifty-eight nonprofits in Wisconsin and Michigan to help provide funding for critical programs in their communities.

“At Xcel Energy we’re doing our part to support our customers and communities,” said Mark Stoering, president of Xcel Energy, Wisconsin and Michigan. “Our mission is to provide our customers safe, clean, reliable energy services, but we also know that the quality of life in our communities is equally important to their continued success.”

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Xcel Energy Elects New Board Member

 

  Xcel Energy has announced that has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. Burkhart is an accomplished executive with decades of experience in human resources compensation, culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Comerica Incorporated, a major financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She is responsible for leading the bank’s people strategy and organization for the $94 billion company. Prior to her current role, Burkhart served as Senior Vice president and Director of Compensation. She joined Comerica in 1997.

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US DOJ Appeals Ruling Blocking Transmission Line

The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that blocked a controversial transmission line’s crossing through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge.  

The U.S. DOJ filed the appeal June 8 on behalf of federal agencies that granted approvals for the 345-kilovolt Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line. American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative are building the line that would run 101 miles from Dane County to Dubuque County in Iowa.

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American Transmission Company Appoints New Board Member and Treasurer

American Transmission Company has announced that Scott J. Lauber, President and Chief Executive Officer of WEC Energy Group, has joined ATC’s Board of Directors, replacing J. Kevin Fletcher who retired from WEC Energy Group on June 1, 2022. Eric Lundberg, ATC’s Vice President of Finance, was named the company’s Treasurer, a title previously held by Mike Hofbauer, ATC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Lauber was named President and CEO of WEC Energy Group and appointed to the company’s Board of Directors in February 2022. He became President — We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Michigan Gas Utilities and Minnesota Energy Resources in January 2022, and President, Upper Michigan Energy Resources in February 2022. In the president roles, Lauber is responsible for business operations for WEC Energy Group’s utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Lauber joined Wisconsin Energy Corporation in 1990 and has held positions of increasing responsibility, including financial manager, distribution operations, and manager, corporate accounting and budgeting.

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RELIABILITY CORPORATION WARNS OF POTENTIAL BLACKOUT RISKS

Hot weather, a growing economy and the early retirement of coal-fired plants could mean a heightened risk of blackouts this summer, according to the nation’s electric grid watchdog.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has warned that parts of the upper Midwest face a “high risk” of energy emergencies under certain conditions, such as extreme heat or unexpected generator outages.

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CARDINAL-HICKORY CREEK LINE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

Utilities building a controversial power line through southwest Wisconsin say supply chain issues and ongoing court battles have added more than $49 million to the price tag.

As required under the construction permit, the owners of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line notified the Public Service Commission Friday that the cost would exceed the authorized $492 million price tag by more than ten percent. They say the total cost is now unknown.

The PSC permit does not require additional approval for price overruns. “Rising costs are presently a reality in all industries, and the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project is no exception,“ according to Alissa Braatz, a spokesperson for American Transmission Company, one of the line’s three co-owners.

Meanwhile, opponents of the line between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton, Wisconsin, are asking a federal appeals court to temporarily halt construction on either side of the Mississippi River while the court considers whether the line can cross the river as planned.

KEWAUNEE NUCLEAR POWER SALE APPROVED

Wisconsin regulators have approved the sale of a shuttered nuclear plant, leaving hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars in the hands of a private contractor. 

The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday, May 25 to allow Dominion Energy to sell the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant to Utah-based EnergySolutions for an undisclosed sum. EnergySolutions will also get about $835 million set aside to cover the cost of decommissioning the 49-year-old plant.

The commission rejected arguments from consumer advocates who said the deal lacked provisions that could return some $285 million to customers of Alliant Energy and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. 

Any unused funds in the decommissioning trust are to be returned to ratepayers, but the deal doesn’t cap expenses, giving EnergySolutions discretion over how the money is spent. 



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DAIRYLAND COOPERATIVE CONSIDERING USING A NEW TYPE OF NUCLEAR

The future of nuclear energy in Wisconsin could be different than huge power plants along Lake Michigan as energy companies explore small-scale reactors which wouldn't require nearly as much water and could be operated in a wide range of locations.

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XCEL ENERGY RECOGNIZED FOR CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

Xcel Energy has been inducted into the Climate Leadership Hall of Fame for its outstanding environmental progress, having earned two Climate Leadership Awards in the past decade for industry-leading carbon reduction efforts. The company was also honored with The Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award for its groundbreaking sustainability goals in Minnesota.

“Xcel Energy’s strong track record in reducing carbon emissions is due to our ongoing commitment to delivering the cleaner energy our customers want. It’s why we’re the first U.S. energy provider to set ambitious clean energy goals across all the ways our customers use energy—electricity, heating, and transportation,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We’re absolutely delighted to be among the first inducted into the Climate Leadership Hall of Fame and are honored to be recognized as a national climate leader.”

ALLIANT ENERGY APPLAUDS FEDERAL ACTION ON SOLAR TARIFFS

Following the news that the Biden administration is preventing tariffs from being imposed on the solar industry for at least the next two years, Alliant Energy shared the following statement:

“At Alliant Energy, we’re driven by our commitment to serving customers and building stronger communities. We applaud President Biden for taking this action.

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PEREGRINE FALCONS FLOURISH AT WPS, WE ENERGIES SITES

Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies are celebrating a milestone year for their popular peregrine falcon program. People around the world tuned in to the live web cameras to watch these endangered birds hatch and grow up.

This year marks 30 years since the first captive-bred peregrine falcons were released from a WPS or We Energies power plant. To celebrate the 30-year anniversary, thousands of customers voted to name this year’s chicks after the best of 1992. So far, 12 chicks have hatched and 10 have been given identification bands.

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DIVIDENDS: JUNE ANNOUNCEMENT

XCEL ENERGY BOARD DECLARES DIVIDEND ON COMMON STOCK
The Board of Directors of Xcel has declared a quarterly dividend on its common stock of 48.75 cents per share. The dividends are payable July 20, 2022, to shareholders of record on June 15, 2022.

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, with operations in 8 Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.7 million electricity customers and 2.1 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.

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Xcel Energy First Quarter 2022 Earnings Report

Xcel Energy has reported 2022 first quarter GAAP and ongoing earnings of $380 million, or $0.70per share, compared with $362 million, or $0.67 per share in the same period in 2021.

Earnings reflect capital investment recovery and other regulatory outcomes, partially offset by higher depreciation, interest expense and operating and maintenance expenses.

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Xcel VP for Regulatory Affairs Named for Texas-New Mexico Service Area

Brooke Trammell, who has served as regional vice president for Rates and Regulatory Affairs for Xcel Energy’s Colorado jurisdiction since 2018, has accepted the position of Regional Vice President for Regulatory and Pricing for the Texas and New Mexico system, succeeding Bill Grant who is retiring June 1. Trammell has been with Xcel Energy for almost a decade, starting in Amarillo as a regulatory case specialist in September 2012 before taking the role of rate case manager in 2014.

She left regulatory in 2016 when she was named director for Customer and Community Relations in Texas and New Mexico.

 

PSCW Wants State's Energy Efficiency Program to Play a Larger Role in Cutting Emissions

The state’s utility regulators want Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program to play a larger role in cutting carbon emissions as part of efforts to combat climate change.

The Public Service Commission has voted 2-1 for the state’s Focus on Energy program to play a greater role in cost-effectively cutting carbon emissions while continuing to emphasize energy savings. However, Republican lawmakers are wary. 

Commissioners have supported research, planning and investment of resources that would set Focus on a path toward playing a larger role in promoting replacement of fossil fuels with electricity to reduce emissions and energy costs.

The commission stopped short of fully changing Focus on Energy’s goals, opting instead to treat the next four years as a “transitional period” in which the program maintains an emphasis on energy savings while also making “measurable progress” toward reducing carbon emissions.

Alliant Energy Completes First Customer-Hosted Rooftop Solar Site in Dodgeville

The first solar rooftop installation of Alliant Energy’s Customer-Hosted Renewables program is now operational in Iowa County. The 300-kilowatt solar system utilizes over 700 solar panels on 29,000 square feet of Iowa County’s new Law Enforcement Center roof in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. It will provide clean energy to the local electric grid and at maximum output could produce enough energy to power nearly 50 homes.