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Wisconsin Energy Corporation

Wisconsin Energy Corporation

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Wisconsin Energy Corporation , based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

 serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin through its utility subsidiary, We Energies. Other subsidiaries are We Power, which designs, builds and owns electric generating plants; and Wispark, which develops and invests in real estate, industrial/office buildings and urban redevelopment projects.

The corporation and utility headquarters are located at 231 W. Michigan Street in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Electric Power Company


Wisconsin Electric Power Company, which does business as We Energies, provides electrical service for over one million customers, primarily located in southeastern and eastern Wisconsin as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We Energies also supplies nearly one million natural gas customers located throughout the state of Wisconsin.

The majority of We Energies' electricity is generated by its coal-fueled
Fossil fuel power plant
A fossil-fuel power station is a power station that burns fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or petroleum to produce electricity. Central station fossil-fuel power plants are designed on a large scale for continuous operation...

 power plants
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

 power plants in Oak Creek
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Oak Creek is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 28,456 at the 2000 census. In 2009, its population was estimated at 33,946.-History:...

, Pleasant Prairie
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Pleasant Prairie is a village in Kenosha County, Wisconsin located between Milwaukee and Chicago. The population was 16,136 at the 2000 census. The neighborhoods of Carol Beach, Dexter's Corner, Ranney, and Tobin are located within the village.-Geography:...

 and Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Marquette, Michigan; from the natural-gas-fueled Port Washington Generating Station in Port Washington, Wisconsin, and from the Point Beach Nuclear Generating Station
Point Beach Nuclear Generating Station
Point Beach Nuclear Plant is a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan north of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, USA.The plant is currently owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources , of Juno Beach, Florida...

 north of Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities...

 (now owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources is an wholesale electricity supplier based in Juno Beach, Florida. It is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. , a Fortune 200 company. Prior to 2009, NextEra Energy Resources was known as FPL Energy....

). We Energies also operates natural-gas-fueled peaking plants, which are used to produce electricity during periods of peak demand, several hydroelectric dams located on rivers in northeast Wisconsin, and from various renewable energy sources, including wind and biomass.

We Energies transmission service is provided by the American Transmission Company. Transmission line voltages are 345,000 volts, 230,000 and 138,000 volts. Its subtransmission voltages are 69,000 volts and 34,500 volts. We Energies distribution voltages are 14,400 volts, 12,470/7200 volts and 4,800 volts. We Energies transmission system interconnections are with Commonwealth Edison
Commonwealth Edison
Commonwealth Edison is the largest electric utility in Illinois, serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois area...

 in northern Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Wisconsin Public Service in northeast and north central Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 and Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy, Inc. is a public utility company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serving customers in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Primary services are electricity and natural gas...

 in western Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 and most of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and Upper Peninsula Power Company
Upper peninsula Power Company
Upper Peninsula Power Company , a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, is a utility company serving most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. UPPCO provides electric power to consumers....

 in Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

's Upper Peninsula.

History

  • 1896 The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company was formed as a subsidiary of the North American Company
    North American Company
    The North American Company was a holding company incorporated in New Jersey on June 14, 1890, and controlled by Henry Villard, to succeed to the assets and property of the Oregon and Transcontinental Company...

     to provide interurban rail service in a 12000 square miles (31,079.9 km²) area of southeastern Wisconsin. In time, the company began selling electricity not needed to power the interurban trains to individuals and businesses.

  • 1919 Experiments at the company's East Wells Power Plant (then called Oneida Street Plant) in downtown Milwaukee, proved that use of pulverized coal reduced the cost of producing electric power and conserved fuel.

  • 1921 Wisconsin Electric Power Company is formed by the North American Company to build and operate the Lakeside Power Plant in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Lakeside was the world's first power plant to burn pulverized coal exclusively.

  • 1935 The first of five 80-megawatt units at Port Washington Power Plant was brought on line. From 1935 to 1948, Port Washington was the most efficient coal-fueled power plant in the world.

  • 1938 The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company and Wisconsin Electric Power Company consolidated.

  • 1941 Wisconsin Electric purchased Wisconsin Gas & Electric Company and Wisconsin Michigan Power Company, which also had been under the North American Company.

  • 1946 Wisconsin Electric becomes an independent company, no longer part of the North American Company.

  • 1953 Wisconsin Electric placed into service the first 120-megawatt unit at Oak Creek Power Plant. Seven additional units were completed through 1968.

  • 1970 Wisconsin Electric's 908-megawatt Point Beach Nuclear Plant began operation and gained a world-wide reputation for efficiency.

  • 1980 Wisconsin Electric placed the first 580-megawatt unit at Pleasant Prairie into service. A second unit was added in 1985.

  • 1987 Wisconsin Electric restructured, establishing Wisconsin Energy Corporation and the Wispark, Wisvest and Witech subsidiaries.

  • 1994 Wisconsin Energy purchased Lake Geneva-based Wisconsin Southern Gas Co. and merged it into Wisconsin Natural, which subsequently merged with Wisconsin Electric in 1995.

  • 1998 Wisconsin Energy bought ESELCO, parent company of Edison Sault Electric, based in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

  • 2000 WICOR, a Milwaukee-based holding company of Wisconsin Gas, became part of Wisconsin Energy, creating the largest electric and natural gas provider in Wisconsin. The corporation also announced a 10-year plant to invest US$7.0 billion to build five new power plants, to upgrade existing plants and to improve its electric distribution system.

  • 2002 Wisconsin Electric and Wisconsin Gas began doing business as We Energies.

  • 2004 Wisconsin Energy sold the non-energy assets of WICOR for US$850 million as part of its strategy to divest its non-core businesses.

  • 2005 The American Transmission Company was formed by Wisconsin's major utilities.

  • 2005 Construction of two 615-megawatt coal-fired units began at the Oak Creek Power Plant site. The same year, the first of two 545-megawatt natural-gas-fueled units began commercial operation at Port Washington Generating Station.

  • 2007 Wisconsin Energy sold Point Beach Nuclear Plant to FPL Energy for approximately US$924 million, with We Energies entitled to the output for the life of the plant.

  • 2008 The Blue Sky Green Field Wind Farm
    Blue Sky Green Field Wind Farm
    Blue Sky Green Field wind farm is a wind farm in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. The farm is located between near Mount Calvary in the south with its north edge at the Calumet County border in the town of Calumet. The farm is owned by We Energies...

     began operation on a 10600 acres (42.9 km²) site with 88 turbines (145-megawatt capacity) in Wisconsin's Fond du Lac County.

  • 2009 We Energies received approval to construct and operate the Glacier Hills Wind Park in Wisconsin's Columbia County. The company also announced plans to build a biomass generating facility at the Domtar paper mill in Rothschild, Wisconsin.

  • 2010 Wisconsin Energy completed the sale of Edison Sault Electric Company to Cloverland Electric Cooperative. In May, construction began on the Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County.

Wispark, LLC


Wispark, LLC is a full-service real estate development subsidiary, focused on business parks, office/industrial buildings and urban redevelopment.

Primergy merger


On May 3, 1995, Wisconsin Energy Corporation and Northern States Power Company
Northern States Power Company
Northern States Power Company was a publicly-traded S&P 500 electric and natural gas utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is now a subsidiary of Xcel Energy .-History:...

 ( each filed a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K
Form 8-K
Form 8-K is a very broad form used to notify investors of any material event that is important to shareholders or the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. This is one of the most common types of forms filed with the SEC...

 to combine in a merger-of-equals transaction to form Primergy Corporation, which would have been a registered public utility holding company and new parent of both NSP and of the WEC operating subsidiaries. It would have been the 10th largest investor-owned electric and gas utility company in the United States, based on market capitalization at that time of about US$6.0 billion.

Wisconsin Energy's utility subsidiaries, Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) and Wisconsin Natural Gas Company (WNG), were to be consolidated under a new subsidiary name, Wisconsin Energy Company. Under that name, it and NSP would have continued to operate as the two principal subsidiaries of Primergy Corp. Also, NSP-Wisconsin would merge into the operating subsidiary Wisconsin Energy Company. NSP's two subsidiaries were NSP-Minnesota, operating in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, and NSP-Wisconsin, operating in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Upper Peninsula of Michigan
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. It is also known as the land "above the Bridge" linking the two peninsulas. The peninsula is bounded...

. The merger deal was expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 1996.

By 1997, approvals had been granted by the state regulatory commissions in Michigan and North Dakota, but not by the commissions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Approvals from the Securities & Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice were still pending.

On May 16, 1997, both CEOs announced that the boards of directors of both companies had terminated the merger plan. They also stated that the regulatory agencies were changing their merger policies as they were considering the companies' filing and that further delay would reduce the benefits of the Primergy transaction.

The delay already had put the merger five months behind schedule and had reduced earnings for both utilities by a total of US$58 million to that point. In addition, Wisconsin Energy's stock had fallen about 13% since early 1995 when the deal had been announced, while NSP's stock had risen by 6%. The case was considered to be a bellwether
Bellwether
A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings.The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram leading his flock of sheep.The movements of...

 in the utilities industry, putting an end to the rapid pace of mergers and acquisitions that had been ongoing up to then.

External links

  • We Energies
  • Wisconsin Energy Corporation
  • We Power
  • Corporate profile from Fortune
    Fortune (magazine)
    Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

  • "Utilities turn down power on mergers, acquisitions Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a daily morning broadsheet printed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. It is the primary newspaper in Milwaukee, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin and is distributed widely throughout the state...

    July 1, 2006
  • Early street railways in Milwaukee
  • John I. Beggs
    John I. Beggs
    John Irvin Beggs was an American entrepreneur, industrialist and financier associated closely with the electric utility boom under Thomas Edison. He was also associated with Milwaukee, St. Louis, Missouri and other regional rail and interurban trolley systems...