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About Wisconsin Electric Power Company

WEC Energy Group keeps the lights illuminated and the gas fires burning for 4.4 million customers in four upper Midwest states. The utility holding company serves energy through its seven regulated utilities. It is one of the largest natural gas distributors in the US and even provides steam (for heating) to a few hundred customers in Milwaukee, WI. It owns 8,600 MW of electric generation capacity and thousands of miles of natural gas distribution and electrical transmission lines. The former Wisconsin Energy acquired for $9 billion Integrys Energy in mid-2015 and renamed the combined entity WEC Energy Group.

Operations

WEC Energy Group operates four reportable segments: Wisconsin, Illinois, Other States, and Electric Transmission. Embedded within the segments WEC records the operations and results of its regulated utility companies.

The Wisconsin segment accounts for about 80% of total revenue and includes the electric and natural gas utility operations of Wisconsin Electric (WE), Wisconsin Gas, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS). The segment also included WE's and WPS's electric and natural gas operations in Michigan until it spun them into the separate Upper Michigan Energy Resources utility in early 2017. The segment generates and transmits electric energy and distributes natural gas to some 3 million customers.

The Illinois segment produces about 15% of WEC revenue and includes the natural gas utility and non-utility operations of The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company (PGL) and North Shore Gas Company (NSG). PGL and NSG provide energy to Chicago and its northern suburbs. PGL also owns and operates a 38 Bcf natural gas storage facility in central Illinois.

The Other States segment includes the natural gas utility and non-utility operations of Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC) and Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation (MGU).

WEC holds approximately 60% of the in American Transmission Company LLC, which owns, maintains, monitors, and operates electric transmission systems throughout WEC's service territory. These operations are recorded in WEC's Electric Transmission segment and contribute between $60 million and $140 million in annual equity earnings.

WEC serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota with roughly 69,000 miles of electric distribution lines and more than 45,000 miles of natural gas distribution and transmission lines. The company generates two thirds of its energy needs and purchases the rest through power purchase agreements. Of its owned plants about 50% of energy is sourced from coal, 20% from natural gas, and 4% from renewables. Most of the purchased power is nuclear sourced.

Geographic Reach

WEC Energy Group has customers throughout Wisconsin, though most are in the eastern portion of the state. It serves customers in southern Michigan and in that state's Upper Peninsula. It also provides energy in and around Chicago, and in various portions of Minnesota.

Its power generation plants are located throughout Wisconsin.

Sales and Marketing

The company serves retail customers through its regulated utility operations. It also serves wholesale customers through unregulated sales of electricity. Most of its sales are to retail customers, which include residential, farming, commercial business, and industrial clients.

Financial Performance

WEC Energy produced steady financial results in recent years with revenue ranging between $4.1 billion and $5.0 billion and net income gradually climbing. The acquisition of Integrys in 2015 spiked both revenue and net income for that year and the next.

In 2016, revenue reached $7.5 billion, up 26% from the prior year. The increase was largely due to the inclusion of Integrys revenue, though warmer summer weather triggered additional cooling needs by retail customers.

The 2016 the company achieved $940 million in net income, a 47% jump from 2015. The increase was the result of higher revenue (from Integrys), a favorable comparison against 2015's acquisition costs (about $100 million), and a $50 million boost from WEC's equity interest in American Transmission Company. Lower fuel costs helped as well but was almost completely offset by a rise in operating expenses.

Cash at the end of 2016 was $37 million, $12 million lower than the prior year's amount. Operating activities provided $2.1 billion, mainly from net income and deferred taxes. Investing activities used $1.2 billion mostly for capital improvement projects. Financing activities used $845 million to retire debt, repurchase company stock shares, and payout shareholder dividends.

Strategy

WEC is trying to modernizing its electric grid, extending gas operations, and addressing the push towards renewable energy sources. It is focusing on opportunities to deploy capital in renewable energy assets. 

 

The company is on schedule to retire 1,800 MW of coal-sourced generation by 2020, including its Pulliam Power Plant, Edgewater 4 facility, and Presque Isle Power Plant. It will replace some of that lost power with natural gas-fueled plants in Michigan and Wisconsin and with solar facilities. In 2019, the company acquired an 80% ownership interest in Coyote Ridge Wind Farm in South Dakota for $145 million. The site will be operated by Avangrid and has a long-term offtake agreement with Google Energy.   

In early 2016, WEC divested components that were either acquired via Integrys or no longer fit into the company’s business mix. It sold the ITF business, a provider of compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling services as well as a provider of CNG facility design, construction, operation, and maintenance. It also sold its Milwaukee County (steam) Power Plant and its chilled water generation and distribution assets in early 2016. In 2017, it acquired a natural gas storage facility in Michigan and formed the Upper Michigan Energy Resources utility into which WEC placed its utility operations serving the state’s Upper Peninsula.

WEC’s more typical strategic endeavors stem from its capital expenditure plan. Between 2018 and 2022 the firm plans to invest $11.8 billion across its operations. $2.7 billion is earmarked for its generation assets, including buildout of new gas and renewable power plants. A similar amount is targeted for electric distribution operations to expand its transmissions reach and to modernize its grid. Gas delivery will get the largest investment at $5.5 billion, including funding to replace 2,000 miles of aging natural gas pipeline in and around Chicago.

 

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.

Wisconsin Electric Power Company

231 W MICHIGAN ST
Milwaukee, WI 53203-2918
Phone: 1 (414) 221-2345

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
President: Rod Karman
Director, Energy Delivery Technology Support: Jeff Melcher
Vice President, Customer Services: John Zaganczyk
Employees (This Location): 170
Employees (All Locations): 2,739

Major Office Locations

Milwaukee, WI

Other Locations

Washington, DC
Iron River, MI
Marquette, MI
Amery, WI
Appleton, WI
Elkhart Lake, WI
Elmwood, WI
Fort Atkinson, WI
Franklin, WI
Germantown, WI
Land O Lakes, WI
Madison, WI
Menomonee Falls, WI
Milwaukee, WI
Oak Creek, WI
Pewaukee, WI
Pleasant Prairie, WI
Port Washington, WI
Racine, WI
Rice Lake, WI
Sparta, WI
Spooner, WI
Two Rivers, WI
Union Grove, WI
Watertown, WI
Waukesha, WI
West Bend, WI
Wisconsin Rapids, WI