Formerly Wisconsin Energy, WEC Energy Group provides electricity and natural gas to nearly 4.4 million customers in four states. One of the largest natural gas distributors in the US, the company operates through brands We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, People Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, and Minnesota Energy Resources. It serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota with more than 71,000 miles of electric distribution lines, more than 45,000 miles of natural gas distribution and transmission lines, and 8,577 MW of generating capacity. The former Wisconsin Energy acquired Integrys Energy in mid-2015 to create WEC Energy Group.
WEC Energy Group operates through six segments.
The Wisconsin segment includes the electric and natural gas utility operations of Wisconsin Electric (WE), Wisconsin Gas, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), including WE's and WPS's electric and natural gas operations in Michigan. WE, the largest electric utility in Wisconsin, generates and distributes electric energy to 1.1 million customers in southeastern, east central, and northern Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. WPS generates and distributes electric energy to 449,200 customers in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In 2015, retail electric revenues accounted for 87.3% of total electric operating revenues; wholesale electric revenues, 10.7%. Electric revenues accounted for 88% of WEC Energy Group's total revenues in 2015.
The Illinois segment (8%) includes the natural gas utility and non-utility operations of The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company (PGL) and (North Shore Gas Company) NSG.
(In terms of its power and gas infrastructure, WEC Energy Group has an extensive network of overhead distribution lines and underground distribution cable, 500 distribution substations, and 489,400 line transformers. Its natural gas distribution system includes distribution mains and transmission mains. The company also has 500 natural gas distribution and transmission gate stations).
The Other States segment (2%) includes the natural gas utility and non-utility operations of Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC) and Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation (MGU).
The We Power segment (1%) includes WEC Energy Group's non-regulated entity that owns and leases generating facilities to WE. We Power, designs, builds, owns, and leases four generation plants constructed as part of its Power the Future strategy.
The Electric Transmission segment includes WEC Energy Group's 60% stake in American Transmission Company LLC (ATC), a for-profit, electric transmission company regulated by FERC and certain state regulatory commissions.
The Corporate and Other segment includes the operations of the WEC Energy Group holding company, the Integrys holding company, the Peoples Energy, LLC holding company, Wispark LLC (which develops and invests in real estate projects primarily in southeastern Wisconsin), Bostco LLC, Wisvest, Wisconsin Energy Capital Corporation, WEC Business Services, LLC, WPS Power Development LLC (PDL), and Integrys Transportation Fuels, LLC (ITF).
The company serves customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Sales and Marketing
The company serves a range of customers, including residential, small commercial and industrial, large commercial and industrial, and wholesale and resale.
In 2015 net revenues increased by 19% to $5.93 billion due to increases in the Wisconsin segment, and higher revenues in Illinois and Other States due to the acquisition of Integrys Energy, a provider of regulated natural gas and electricity, as well as nonregulated renewable energy and CNG products and services.
WEC Energy Group has recorded an increasing trend in net income over the last five years.
In 2015 net income was $640.3 million, up 9% on 2014, due to higher net revenues.
Cash from operating activities was $1.29 billion, up 8% compared to 2014.
The company's growth strategy includes expansion via acquisition and internal investment. WEC Energy Group its targeting investment opportunities in the regulated utility business; investment in ATC; and generating plants within the We Power segment. It is expecting to invest at least $1.5 billion a year in new, modern infrastructure, and $400 million a year to upgrade and harden its electric delivery networks.
In Illinois the company is also moving forward on the Accelerated Main Replacement Program at Peoples Gas in Chicago, which calls for the replacement of 2,000 miles of Chicago's aging gas pipelines.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In a major move, in 2015 Wisconsin Energy acquired rival Integrys Energy in a transaction valued at $9.1 billion. The deal established WEC Energy Group as the energy leader serving the Midwestern US.