Mercury Marine asks for electric rate cut in Wisconsin

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Mercury Marine is the first Alliant Energy customer to seek a reduction in electric rates under a pilot program to retain distressed industrial firms in the state.

Mercury asked Alliant for rates that would generate $4.8 million in savings during the next five years, as the marine engine builder was lining up at least $122.7 million in tax incentives from local, county and state governments, plus wage concessions from employees, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper.

In applying for the Economic Development Rate Rider through Alliant, Mercury president Mark Schwabero, in a signed affidavit, stated that “but for” Alliant's economic development rates on its own or in combination with other economic and other job creation incentives, the company would reduce electrical consumption, shut facilities or leave the state.

Mercury spokesman Steve Fleming couldn't comment to the newspaper on how the company arrived at the $4.8 million savings request or how much it spent on electrical energy annually, but said the economic conditions that qualified the firm for the reduced rates remain.

"The boating industry remains flat," Fleming said.

Alliant is the only investor-owned utility in the state that offers economic development rates and is supportive of cutting its rates for Mercury, said Alliant spokesman Scott Reigstad.

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