Alliant Energy is reliant on its business model of delivering regulated and non regulated electric and natural gas services to homes, businesses, and industries across the Midwest at 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 415,000 customers in four states; the utility's generation division produces electricity at more than 34 power plants, with a total generating capacity of more than 4,900 MW. Nonregulated operations include rail and marine transportation services, and independent power production (including wind farms).
The company has operations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
In 2012 company’s IP&L utility supplied electric service to 526,841 retail customers and gas service to 233,820 retail customers. WPL supplied electric service to 458,180 retail customers, and gas to 181,028 retail customers. Non-regulated business include transportation and non-regulated power generation.
Alliant Energy's revenues decreased by 16% in 2012 largely due to the divestiture of its RMT business, coupled with a decline in utility revenues.
However, thanks to a decrease in operating expenses and interest expenses, the company’s net income in 2012 increased by 4%.
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. It also seeks to achieve this while maintaining a competitive cost structure.
Alliant Energy is constructing new wind generating facilities, switching IP&L's Dubuque Generating Station and Sutherland Generating Station to natural-gas fired facilities, and retiring older and less-efficient coal-fired generating facilities. The company plans to invest more than $1.4 billion by 2017 to upgrade WPL's generating fleet. A unit of Alliant Energy agreed to buy (over a multi-year period) more than 300 wind turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. for $817 million.
IP&L and WPL have power purchase agreements with NextEra Energy for the purchase of energy and capacity from the Duane Arnold Energy Center through part of 2014.
To raise cash, in 2013 the company sold RMT, a former renewable energy services subsidiary, to Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, LLC (IEA).
In a major move, that year Alliant Energy also agreed to to sell its Minnesota electric and natural gas distribution businesses for about $128 million. The electric distribution business will be sold to Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (a group of 12 neighboring electric cooperatives) while the natural gas business will be sold to Integrys Energy Group unit, Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation.
In 2011 the company sold the environmental business unit of RMT to TRC Companies for $13.3 million to raise cash and focus on its core regulated businesses.
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.