Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT) Chairman, President and CEO Patricia Kampling on Feb. 24 said that the company continues to make solid progress in providing cost-effective clean energy for its customers, while building a smarter and more robust grid.
“We have a dynamic planning process that gives us the flexibility to adjust our capital plans as opportunities arise,” she said during the company’s 4Q16 earnings call. “So, last evening, we issued an updated capital expenditure plan for 2017 through 2020 totaling $5.6bn.”
She noted that this year, the company plans to begin installation of smart meters for Iowa electric and gas customers.
“This is an important component for a smarter and more resilient power grid, she said. “Access to real-time information and data will allow us to manage outages, two-way energy flow, and allow for remote connect and disconnect. We expect to complete the Iowa smart meter installation in 2019.”
Kampling also noted that the company began the transition of its generation fleet almost a decade ago, with the addition of utility-owned wind and the planned retirements of its smaller and less-efficient fossil generating stations. Since 2010, she said, Alliant has retired or converted one-third of its coal-fired generation.
Alliant’s plan has been based on the economic modernization of its generation fleet to one that is more energy efficient and lower in emissions and water usage, she said.
“Our plans were never predicated on the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s] Clean Power Plan, but rather, they are based on providing our customers safe, reliable, and cost-competitive energy, while improving the environment of the communities that we have the privilege to serve,” Kampling said.
She noted that in Wisconsin, the company is in the early stages of construction on the Riverside Energy Center Expansion, which, according to the company’s website, is an approximately 700-MW, combined-cycle, natural gas-fueled generating station. The expansion will include a 2-MW solar facility, the company said.
“[W]e broke ground for the Riverside expansion last September, and expect that it will supply energy to our customers by early 2020,” Kampling said.
She also noted that in Iowa, Alliant is “in the home stretch of” construction on the 650-MW, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired Marshalltown Generating Station, which “is now almost complete. Testing is going well and it is expected to go in service by early April.”
Alliant’s capital expenditure plan also includes an additional 900 MW of wind energy, of which 500 MW was approved by the Iowa Utilities Board last year, she said.
Among other things, Kampling said, “Solar generation is the newest addition to our energy mix and we continue to gain valuable experience on how best to integrate it – as well as storage – into our electric system.”