Integrys Energy Inc.
) subsidiary Wisconsin Public Service Corporation has received
approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to
implement a 5-year System Modernization and Reliability Project
(SMRP). The company will invest $220 million in this venture.
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Per the project, Integrys Energy will convert over 1,000 miles of
overhead power distribution lines to underground. Further, the
company will add distribution automation equipment on another 400
miles of line. Integrys Energy chose the overhead lines segments
which can be switched to underground at a much reasonable rate.
Integrys Energy will start the project in 2014 and complete it by
2019. The company initially conducted a small pilot reliability
improvement project in 2012 and collected several data from it.
Later, Integrys Energy utilized the data for developing this
In Integrys Energy's service territory in Wisconsin, supply of
power is disrupted by weather-related issues, which damage
electrical equipment. Electricity reliability is thus much lower
than the state and national averages, particularly in heavily
forested rural lands in northern Wisconsin.
One of the main reasons to invest in this project is to minimize
outages and provide uninterrupted services to its customers.
These initiatives will subsequently improve reliability, consumer
confidence as well as public safety.
On completion of the project, the monthly rate of electricity
will increase by approximately $5 for an average residential
customer. It is a regular practice for the regulated utility
companies to recoup their invested funds from the consumers
through rate increases.
Integrys Energy invests regularly for the improvement of its
utility transmission and distribution operations, as well as for
the installation of modern technologies. Currently, the company
Alliant Energy Corporation
) are engaged in a modernization project at the Columbia plant.
During the first quarter of 2013, the company spent $147 million
under its capital spending program.
During the first three months of 2013, Integrys Energy's cash
flow from operating activities was $319.6 million. A stable
financial position allows the company to follow steady
infrastructure development activities.
Integrys Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other
stocks from the industry that are also presently performing well
Companhia Paranaense de Energia
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).