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Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
OPERATOR: Thank you for holding, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Alliant Energy's third quarter 2007 earnings conference call. At this time, all lines are in a listen-only mode. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Becky Johnson, Manager of Investor Relations at Alliant Energy.
BECKY JOHNSON, MANAGER OF IR, ALLIANT ENERGY: Good afternoon. 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 today are Bill Harvey, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Eliot Protsch, our Chief Financial Officer, as well as other members of the senior management team. Following prepared remarks by Bill and Eliot, we will have time to take questions from the investment community. We issued a news release this morning announcing Alliant Energy's third quarter 2007 earnings. The release is available on the investors page of our website at www.alliantenergy.com. Before we begin, I need to remind you that 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 this morning and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. At this point, I would like to turn the call over to Bill.
BILL HARVEY, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT, & CEO, ALLIANT ENERGY: Thank you, Becky. Good afternoon and thanks for your continued interest in our company. My comments this afternoon are primarily focused on updating you on our progress with our generation buildout and other strategic initiatives. Later in the call, I will turn it over to Eliot to provide a regulatory update and a more detailed discussion of our quarterly earnings and financial guidance.
Due to the seasonal nature of our business, the third quarter is historically a big contributor to the annual earnings of our utility business. This year was no exception. Our third quarter results from continuing operations were $1.05, compared to $0.75 for the third quarter of 2006. Later in the call, Eliot will discuss some of the quarter-over-quarter variance drivers. Suffice it to say, however, we are pleased with the solid financial performance produced this quarter. More importantly, as a result of this strong third quarter results, we have narrowed our consolidated earnings guidance for 2007 to what had previously been the top half of our range. As for our utility operations, two of our coal plants were recently named 2007 best performers by the electric utility cost group. The Edgewater generating station in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, received the award in the large plant category -- those stations greater than 250 megawatts -- and the Lansing generating station in Iowa received the award in the small plant category. We are pleased by this recognition of our commitment to operational excellence and reliability.
Moving on to our generation buildout. Last week in Wisconsin we celebrated the official groundbreaking of the Cedar Ridge wind farm, Alliant Energy's first of many planned rate-based wind farms. We began construction of turbine access roads, foundations and the substation. This infrastructure work is ongoing and will be completed by year end. Turbine deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of next year, with turbine erection occurring in the summer of 2008. This 68-megawatt wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2008, at an estimated cost of approximately $165 million.
In addition to Cedar Ridge, WP&L continues to evaluate sites for an additional 200 megawatts of owned wind generation. Our focus has been on sites in our southern Minnesota service territory, where the wind regimes are superior to those found in Wisconsin. We are in the final stages of preparing thee certificate of public convenience and necessity application, requesting regulatory approval for this project. …