As big tech companies race to capitalize on artificial intelligence, utilities in Wisconsin are assessing how to balance surges in demand for power amid the clean energy transition.

Executives from some of the largest utility and transmission companies serving Wisconsin took part in a series of panel discussions Wednesday about the state’s energy future. They, along with advocates for local governments and large industrial energy users, talked about managing increased demand for power amid the rapid development of artificial intelligence, or AI, and other technologies. The forums were hosted by Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. and broadcast on Wisconsin Eye.

In southeast Wisconsin, Microsoft plans to invest around $1 billion to develop data centers on 1,400 acres it has purchased in Racine County. We Energies, which is owned by Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, plans to spend $100 million on a project to serve Microsoft’s data complex. The project is being built on land originally intended for Foxconn as part of its failed plans to create 13,000 high-tech jobs.

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