Alliant Energy is reliant on its business model of delivering regulated electric and natural gas services to homes, businesses, and industries across the Midwest and the lowest costs it can support. The company's operating utilities, Interstate Power and Light (IP&L) and Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL), provide electricity to about 1 million customers and natural gas to 412,000 customers in four states; the utility operations also own power plants that generate some 5,600 MW of capacity. Nonregulated operations include rail and marine transportation services, independent power production (including wind farms), and real estate.
The company's primary strategy is to invest in upgrading its core utility businesses with an emphasis on generating more power from renewable energy sources, as a way to reduce carbon emissions in order to meet federal and state green energy goals.
In 2008 a unit of Alliant Energy agreed to buy (over a multiyear period) more than 300 wind turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. for $817 million. That year WPL's first owned and operated wind project, the 68 MW Cedar Ridge wind project, began commercial operations.
The company reported an increase in retail power sales in 2010, thanks to favorable weather conditions, customer growth, and higher rates. However, Alliant Energy's overall sales were flat due to decreased gas demand led by agricultural customers using less gas to dry grain, and other weather conditions the dampened gas demand.
In 2011 the company sold the environmental business unit of renewable energy engineering and construction subsidiary RMT, Inc. to TRC Companies for $13.3 million to raise cash and focus on its core regulated businesses. It 2012 it agreed to sell the rest of RMT.
Alliant Energy was created in 1998 by the three-way merger of WPL Holdings, IES Industries, and Interstate Power. Alliant Energy combined the utility operations of IES Industries and Interstate Power to form IP&L in 2002 .
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