WEC Energy Group to pay $230 million for natural gas company

Bluewater Gas Holding owns large underground storage facility

WEC Energy Group headquarters building
WEC Energy Group's Milwaukee corporate headquarters.

Milwaukee-based utility company WEC Energy Group Inc. has agreed to acquire Bluewater Gas Holding LLC for $230 million.

WEC Energy Group headquarters building
WEC Energy Group’s Milwaukee corporate headquarters.

Bluewater Gas Holding is a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline L.P., a Houston-based energy company. It serves mainly Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. pipeline and utility marketers seeking seasonal storage.

WEC Energy signed the acquisition agreement with Bluewater, which owns an underground natural gas storage facility in St. Clair County, Michigan, on Jan. 20, said Allen Leverett, president and chief executive officer of WEC, in a call with analysts after the company’s earnings were released Wednesday.

“This facility can provide approximately one-third of the storage needs of our natural gas distribution companies in Wisconsin,” Leverett said.

The acquisition agreement provides for long-term service agreements for each of WEC’s three Wisconsin natural gas companies. WEC plans to file a request for a declaratory ruling with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Friday, a spokesperson said.

“In this request, we will ask the commission to confirm that it’s reasonable for our Wisconsin gas utilities to enter into these transactions,” Leverett said. “I believe this investment will bring very meaningful customer benefits.”

The transaction is expected to close later this year.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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