Despite the frigid temperatures recently experienced throughout the Midwest, Alliant Energy has sufficient capacity and is prepared to meet the ongoing energy needs of its natural gas and electric customers.
Alliant Energy is part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the market system operator that coordinates from Louisiana to the Midwest and into Canada for the electric system. MISO monitors electric grid conditions to ensure capacity needs throughout the region are met, oversees when additional capacity is needed for peak events and manages changes in electric demands. MISO also has robust partnerships with several Regional Transmission Organizations and the opportunity to leverage or exchange power as needed. As a member, Alliant Energy regularly communicates its supply capacity and projected customer demands with MISO while also continuously reviewing how to best meet the requirements of its service territory throughout Iowa and Wisconsin.
“This partnership with MISO is extremely critical, especially during times of seasonal peak demand, such as the recent cold spell,” said JP Brummond, Vice President of Customer and Community Engagement at Alliant Energy. “It helps us assure our customers we can safely and reliably deliver the affordable energy they count on. As we advance our Clean Energy Vision, we will continue to be guided by a balanced and purposeful transition to a diverse energy mix of generation resources."
As a guide for its transition, Alliant Energy leverages its Clean Energy Blueprint. This plan includes a broad portfolio of renewable resources and includes wind, solar, natural gas and battery storage. This mix allows Alliant Energy to continually and reliably deliver the energy its customers need every day. It all ties back to Alliant Energy’s purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build strong communities. Providing the safe and reliable energy customers need is Alliant Energy's first priority.
As a progressive leader in the industry, Alliant Energy is being proactive, nimble and forward-thinking with a clear vision for precisely how its customers will receive their power today and into the future.
“This approach allows us to spread out the risks and purposefully place utility scale solar projects and wind farms across Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota,” said Matt Cole, Director of Operations at Alliant Energy. “This placement of resources disperses how and where energy is generated, which enhances the resiliency of our network.”
While continuing to deliver sufficient energy to customers, Alliant Energy regularly performs preventative maintenance and repairs of generation resources as well as the gas and electric distribution systems. In fact, Alliant Energy’s wind, solar and other energy generating assets are engineered to operate in cold temperatures. Additionally, the company has winterization plans and detailed checklists to ensure that all assets perform as expected, including during extreme or cold temperatures. Alliant Energy’s energy forecasters monitor a variety of factors every day and anticipate customer’s energy needs to ensure resources are available to meet the demands. In addition, the company’s natural gas transmission and distribution systems are designed to meet the needs of its customers during these times of extremely high demand.
Alliant Energy also remains focused on its continued investments in the connected energy network across Iowa and Wisconsin by advancing the deployment of an advanced distribution management system, battery storage, a fiber optic network, and expanding the use of smart energy systems and automated metering. Another of our customer-focused investments in the energy grid is to transition more electric lines to be placed underground over time – a key element of the company’s efforts to improve grid resiliency, energy efficiency and reliability.
Alliant Energy is also providing customers tips on ways to safely reduce their energy usage. In addition, customers needing financial assistance to pay their bills – which will likely be higher due to increased energy demands – can receive help by dialing 211 or visiting alliantenergy.com/energyassistance. These provide details about available options, including the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Hometown Care Energy Fund.