Xcel Energy seeks another rate hike in Wisconsin

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Xcel Energy is seeking a 6.5 percent increases in electric rates for its Wisconsin costumers, the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports.

The Star Tribune says this would be the Minneapolis-based utility's fourth consecutive and largest rate hike in that state since 2009.

A typical residential electric customer would see an increase of about $6.50 a month starting in January if it's approved by the three-member Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

Xcel is also looking to bump natural gas rates by 3.8 percent, which would result in an extra $2.50 a month for a typical residential customer.

“We continue our long-term plan to modernize our infrastructure to provide safe, reliable and clean energy to meet the needs of our customers and communities,” Mark Stoering, president and CEO, Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin, an Xcel Energy company, said in a news release. “These investments in baseload power plants, including our carbon-free nuclear plants, will allow continued operations for many years to come. Also, our transmission investments in northern and western Wisconsin represent significant infrastructure additions in this part of the state and will bring economic benefit and jobs to local communities during construction.”

The projects include include new substations in La Crosse, Eau Claire and Fall Creek, upgrading transmission lines around Cedar Falls, Ladysmith, Park Falls and Ashland, installing new transmission lines near Stone Lake and adding additional capacity to substations in Menomonie and Viroqua.

A decision on the rate request is expected by the end of the year.

In Minnesota, Xcel is asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for an 8.2 percent rate hike, which is lower than the previous request of 10.7 percent.

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