Visit the Sentinel Tribune website
September 11, 2013
Alliant Energy Selling Minnesota holdings
SEMC agrees to purchase Alliant energy’s southern Minnesota holdings
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Albert Lea — Recently Alliant Energy Corporation (formerly Interstate Power) announced it would sell off its Minnesota Electric and natural gas distribution business. The business will be sold to Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative, a group of 12 neighboring southern Minnesota neighboring cooperatives.
In talking with Westbrook Public Utilities Superintendent Dennis Jutting, he said, “this will have no effect on any of our local operations.” He also mentioned that Alliant had already sold their transmission business about four years ago to a company call ITC (International Transmission Company) with a locally based office in Albert Lea.
Alliant Energy currently serves 43,000 electric customer, and 10,000 natural gas customers. Currently Walnut Grove and Lamberton electricity is served by Alliant.
In a conversation with General Manager Ron Horman of Redwood Rural Electric Coop, it was learned that when all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted, they will serve the communities of Walnut Grove, Revere, and Lamberton in addition electrical service will be provided to the following communities Sanborn, Wanda, Wabasso, Seaforth, and Vesta.
He said, “it will increase our customer base by about 2,100 people.” Horman was unsure how long the legal aspect of the acquisition will take. There are a lot of legal actions that will have to be done including approval by PUC (Public Utilities Commission), he said.
“This acquisition will give SMEC’s 12 member cooperatives new economies of scale to spread our fixed costs over more member-owners,” said Horman. “Keeping rates stable is more challenging these days with the cost of environmental compliance, integrating renewables, declining energy sales, and general inflation affecting our rates. This acquisition is the single biggest positive action we can take to offset a portion of these cost pressures,”
Horman said, “adding the Alliant Energy customers through this proposed acquisition of territory will grow and increase the efficiency of each cooperative,”
According to a news release from Alliant Energy, the sale of the company assets require state and federal approval, which are expected to occur in six to twelve months.
It also noted along with customer value, Alliant Energy also focused on its employees when negotiating the sales proposals with the purchasing utilities. “The sale agree -ments will assure that our impacted Minnesota employees receive offers for continued employment after the sale,” said Tom Aller of Alliant Energy president.
© 2013 Sentinel Tribune
Westbrook, Minnesota. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from STPNS