EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Wisconsin Energy Plans $6 Billion Makeover

LCG, Sept. 11, 2000Wisconsin Energy Corp. announced last night that it would spend $6 billion over 10 years on new power plants and improvements to its distribution systems. The company's shareholders will pay at least part of the bill, as the company announced it would cut its dividend by almost half.

The company said the moves would "address Wisconsin's growing electric energy supply needs and improve the company's financial strength." Company officials said yesterday they expected its stock price to fall on the news, but more than recover over the long haul.

At noon today, Wisconsin Energy shares were off 9 percent in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Under the plan, the company would form a new electric generation subsidiary to own its power plants and sell electricity to the company's operating subsidiaries, Wisconsin Electric Power Co. and Edison Sault Electric Co. The new unit would also sell power to other utilities in the state.

Unlike independent power producers, the new Wisconsin Energy generating unit would sell power under long-term contracts at prices approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Company spokesman Rick White explained "This system is cost-based instead of market-based."

About a third of the $6 billion will go to building new power plants. Another $1.3 billion is earmarked for upgrades to existing power plants and a further investment of about $2.7 billion will be spent on the company's distribution system.

Richard A. Abdoo, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said "We believe our strategy offers a sensible and decisive plan to address Wisconsin's energy supply challenges and spark continued economic growth. "

Wisconsin Energy's plan envisions the construction of at least one 500 megawatt combined cyclenatural gas-fired unit and at least two 600 megawatt coal-fired units over the next 10 years for a total of1,700 megawatts of new capacity. Additional units may be built after 2010 bringing the total to around3,000 megawatts of new electric generation capacity in the state.

Following regulatory and environmental approvals, the company plans to begin construction of a 500 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle unit in 2003 with completion in 2005. The first 600 megawatt coal-fired unit would break ground in 2004 with a projected in-service date of 2007. Additional units would come on-line between 2009 and 2013.

"In planning for Wisconsin's energy future, we must be careful not to become too dependent onelectricity generated by a single fuel," said Richard R. Grigg, president and chief operating officer of subsidiary Wisconsin Electric. "A mix that uses natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, renewables and purchased power will help assure a more reliable and environmentally sensitive supply of electricity forWisconsin consumers," he added.

"In addition to our investment in generation, we plan to spend approximately $2.7 billion over the next 10 years on our distribution system so that it continues to grow to meet the needs of our customers and the state's economy," Grigg said. Distribution spending over the next 10 years will include adding approximately 18 new substations, installing about 150,000 new electric services, building 2,500 miles of new rural distribution lines and rebuilding 60,000 miles of distribution line.

Wisconsin Energy will reduce its dividend by 49 percent effective this coming December 1. The company said the final component of its plan involves increasing retained earnings in order to makeinvestments in the company's core competencies of electric generation, utility distribution and pumpmanufacturing. By reducing the dividend, the company will be able to reinvest in core business areas,reduce debt and lower borrowing costs, which will increase its overall financial strength.

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