Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call

May 3, 2018 10:00 am ET


Susan Gille - IR

Pat Kampling - Chairman, President and CEO

Robert Durian - Vice President, CFO and Treasurer


Nicholas Campanella - Bank of America Merrill Lynch



Thank you for holding, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Alliant Energy's First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all lines are in a listen only mode. Today's conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Susan Gille, Manager of Investor Relations at Alliant Energy.

Susan Gille

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you on the call and on the webcast for joining us today. We appreciate your participation.

With me here today are Pat Kampling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Robert Durian, Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer; and John Larsen, President; as well as other members of the senior management team. Following prepared remarks by Pat and Robert, we will have time to take questions from the investment community.

We issued a news release last night announcing Alliant Energy's first quarter financial results and affirmed the consolidated 2018 earnings guidance issued in November 2017. This release as well as supplemental slides that will be referenced during today's call are available on the Investor page of our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

Before we begin, I need to remind you the remarks we make on this call and our answers to your questions include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different. Those risks include, among others, matters discussed in Alliant Energy's press release issued last night and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

In addition, this presentation contains references to non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation between non-GAAP and GAAP measures are provided in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which is available on our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

At this point, I'll turn the call over to Pat.

Pat Kampling

Thank you, Sue. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. I'm pleased to share with you our first quarter 2018 results and updates on several of our key strategic priorities. After my remarks, Robert will provide details on our first quarter financial results and highlights of our regulatory schedule.

We had a solid start to the year, with first quarter results in line with our expectations. Winter temperatures returned to normal, and higher margins in both our Wisconsin and Iowa utilities resulted in quarterly earnings of $0.52 per share, a $0.09 per share increase versus last year. With these results, we are well positioned to deliver on our 2018 earnings guidance range of $2.04 to $2.18 per share.

I would also like to brief you on several developments on our strategy to deliver cleaner, cost-effective energy to our customers. The Iowa Utilities Board recently approved our additional 500 megawatts of wind generation, which brings our total approved wind generation to 1,000 megawatts. The advanced ratemaking principle for Iowa wind projects are included on Slide 2. As you can see, it was a very constructive order and our Iowa customers and communities will benefit from this expansion of clean, affordable energy.

Construction is already underway at the Upland Prairie Wind Farm and later this year, we anticipate beginning construction at English Farm. These two sites total 470 megawatts and are expected to be in service in 2019.

I would like to thank the welcoming communities that are collaborating so well with our project teams, as we work to minimize the disruptions that can come with any large scale construction project. We are finalizing site selection for the remaining 530 megawatts of the approved wind, which is expected to be placed in service in 2020.

In Wisconsin, we completed the purchase of our 55 megawatt share of the Forward Wind Energy Center last month after receiving approvals from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and FERC. Our customers will benefit from lower costs, as we transition a 10-year-old wind farm from a Purchase Power Agreement to utility owned. This purchase was included in the capital expenditure plan we released in November, which calls for a total of 200 megawatts of additional wind investment for WPL customers.

We are currently evaluating the different choices for additional wind generation for Wisconsin customers and anticipate making a regulatory filing later this quarter. Our plans to add up to 1,200 megawatts of new wind generation will more than double renewable energy for our customers, with approximately 30% of Alliant Energy's rated electric capacity coming from renewables by 2024.

Wind energy brings many benefits, including annual lease payments to fund families and property tax payments that support the rural communities we have the privilege to serve. Our existing wind farms had strong performance in the first quarter, shaping an average capacity factor over 40%. Our new wind farms, we believe are more efficient, as we anticipate the energy production to be as much as 25% higher than our existing wind farms.

We're also very pleased that last month, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure awarded our Dubuque solar project, the first Envision Platinum rating for solar installation. This award recognizes our commitment to construct sustainable projects that highlight our environmental stewardship, our collaboration with local communities and that deliver cleaner, affordable energy to our customers. This is our second Envision Platinum Award. As you might recall that the Marshalltown combined cycle facility received the same award last year.

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