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 414,000 customers in four states; the utility's generation division produces electricity at more than 30 power plants, with a total generating capacity of more than 4,000 MW. Nonregulated operations include rail and marine transportation services, independent power production (including wind farms), and real estate.
Alliant Energy reported a 7.3% increase in revenues in 2011, primarily due to the 13.4% jump in non-regulated revenues thanks to stronger demand for construction management services for large wind and solar projects. WPL's revenues ticked up thanks to higher base retail electric rates whereas IP&L's revenues decreased 3% primarily due to credits on Iowa retail electric customers' bills in 2011.
Net income increased by more than 5% in 2011 thanks to higher revenues and a drop of interest expense as a result of IP&L's retirement of $200 million of 6.75% senior debentures.
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.
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. In 2012 the company announced plans to invest more than $1.4 billion by 2017 to upgrade WPL's generating fleet.
IP&L and WPL have power purchase agreements with NextEra Energy for the purchase of energy and capacity from the Duane Arnold Energy Center through early 2014.
In 2011 the company sold the environmental business unit of renewable energy engineering and construction subsidiary RMT, Inc. to TRC Companies for $13.3 million to raise cash and focus on its core regulated businesses. It 2012 it agreed to sell the rest of RMT.
A unit of Alliant Energy agreed to buy (over a multiyear period) more than 300 wind turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. for $817 million.
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. – less