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 420,000 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 6,290 MW. Non-regulated operations include rail and marine transportation services, and independent power production (including wind farms).
Alliant Energy has operations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
In 2014 company’s IP&L utility supplied electric service to 529,000 retail customers and gas service to 235,000 retail customers. WPL supplied electric service to about 463,000 retail customers, and gas to 185,000 retail customers. Non-regulated business include transportation and non-regulated power generation.
In 2014 Alliant Energy owned 19,642 miles of overhead electric distribution line and 2,961 miles of underground electric distribution cable, and 696 substation distribution transformers, (mainly in Iowa and Minnesota). IP&L’s gas distribution facilities included 5,088 miles and 237 miles of gas mains located in Iowa and Minnesota, respectively. In 2014 WPL owned 16,340 miles of overhead electric distribution line and 5,198 miles of underground electric distribution cable, as well as 303 substation distribution transformers (all in Wisconsin). WPL’s gas distribution facilities included 4,195 miles of gas mains.
Sales and Marketing
Alliant Energy's utilities serve residential, industrial, and commercial customers.I PL and WPL participate in the wholesale energy market operated by MISO.
The company's revenues increased by 2% in 2014. Retail sales volumes grew by 1% due to an increase in industrial sales at IPL and WPL due to production expansion at several customers and higher IPL co-generation customer requirements, and modest customer growth in WPL’s service territory. These increases were partially offset by unseasonably cold weather conditions in IPL’s and WPL’s service territories in the first quarter of 2014 increased sales and the cooler than normal summer temperatures during the third quarter of 2014, which decreased sales.
Wholesale sales volumes increased by 1% in 2014 due to increases in sales to one of IPL’s full-requirement wholesale customers due to production expansion, partially offset by the impact of changes in sales to WPL’s partial-requirement wholesale customers that have contractual options to be served by WPL, other power supply sources or the MISO market.
Bulk power and other revenue changes were largely due to changes in sales in the wholesale energy markets operated by MISO and PJM. These changes a were largely offset by changes in fuel-related costs and did not have a significant impact on electric margins.
In 2014 Alliant Energy's net income increased by 7% due to higher net sales.
The company's cash from operating activities increased by 22% in 2014.
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.
The strategic plan focuses on the core business of delivering regulated electric and natural gas service in IPL’s Iowa and WPL’s Wisconsin service territories.
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.
To pay down debt, in 2015 Alliant Energy sold its Minnesota electric and natural gas distribution businesses for about $127 million.
In 2014 Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility unveiled plans to expand its Riverside Energy Center by building a combined cycle, natural gas-fueled facility near Beloit, to replace several older generating units in Wisconsin slated for retirement in the next few years
That year it completed rebuilding the Auburndale Substation (which significantly improves the reliability of electric service for residents and businesses in the Auburndale area), and the Cranston Substation, which improves service for residents and businesses in the middle of the City of Beloit.
In 2013 the company sold RMT, a former renewable energy services subsidiary, to Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, LLC.
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.