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 950,000 customers and natural gas to 410,000 customers in four states; the utility's generation division produces electricity at more than 32 power plants, with a total generating capacity of more than 6,140 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.
The company’s utility business has three segments: electric operations (85% of 2015 sales); gas operations (12%); and other (2%). Non regulated operations generated 1%.
In 2015 company’s IP&L utility supplied electric service to 489,000 retail customers and gas service to 225,000 retail customers. WPL supplied electric service to more than 461,000 retail customers, and gas to 184,000 retail customers. Non-regulated business include transportation and non-regulated power generation.
In 2015 Alliant Energy owned 17,567 miles of overhead electric distribution line and 2,872 miles of underground electric distribution cable, and 573 substation distribution transformers, (mainly in Iowa). IP&L’s gas distribution facilities included 5,119 miles of gas line. That year WPL owned 16,281 miles of overhead electric distribution line and 5,315 miles of underground electric distribution cable, as well as 302 substation distribution transformers (all in Wisconsin). WPL’s gas distribution facilities included 4,304 miles of gas mains.
Sales and Marketing
Alliant Energy's utilities serve residential, industrial, and commercial customers. It's serves retail industry customers in food manufacturing, chemical (including ethanol) and paper industries; its wholesale industry customers include municipalities and rural electric cooperatives.
IPL and WPL participate in the wholesale energy and ancillary services market operated by MISO.
In 2015 Alliant Energy's net revenues decreased by 3% due to the impact of temperatures on residential and commercial sales resulting in lower heating demand, and the decrease in IPL's sale of Minnesota electric distribution assets in 2015, attributable to lower usage by industrial customers.
Net income decreased by 1% in 2015 due to lower revenues and higher electric transmission service expense costs related to escrow treatment for the difference between actual electric transmission service costs and those costs used to determine rates during 2015 at WPL; and due to higher expenses in income taxes attributable to an increase in federal deferred tax costs.
In 2015 the company's operating cash flows decreased by 2%.
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.
In 2015, the company filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for approval to construct the Riverside Energy Center (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) at an estimated cost of $700 million.
The company expanded its renewable energy generation with integrating solar power into electric system. In 2015, it installed over 1,300 solar panels at Madison headquarters.
To pay down debt, in 2015 Alliant Energy sold its Minnesota electric and natural gas distribution businesses for about $140 million.
The company is also focusing on to increase levels of energy produced by natural gas-fired EGUs (Electric generating unit), wind farms and other renewable energy resources, and installing environmental controls at the more efficient coal-fired EGUs, result in significant environmental benefits. IPL currently expects to spend $400 million for electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs in Iowa from 2014 through 2018. In addition, WPL contributes 1.2% of its annual utility revenues to Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program.
In 2014 Alliant Energy began constructing new wind generating facilities, a natural gas-fired Marshalltown Generating Station with 650 MW capacity in Marshalltown, Iowa, 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.
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.