Gale E. Klappa
Executive Chairman at WEC Energy Group
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today, as we review our results for calendar year 2022. First, I'd like to introduce the members of our management team who are here with me today. We have Scott Lauber, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Xia Liu, our Chief Financial Officer; and Beth Straka, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.
Now, as you saw from our news release this morning, we reported full year 2022 earnings of $4.45 a share. Xia will provide you with more detail on our financial metrics in just a few minutes. But I'm pleased to report to you that we delivered an exceptional year on virtually every meaningful measure from employee safety and customer satisfaction to growth in earnings per share. Three major factors really shaped our strong results for 2022. Favorable weather, solid performance from our infrastructure and transmission segments and steady execution of our capital plan, as we paved the way for an energy future that's affordable, reliable and clean.
On the regulatory front, as you may know, we saw balanced and credit supportive results from our Wisconsin rate reviews in December, despite a little bit of noise in the process. New rates are now in effect for all of our Wisconsin utilities. And last month, on January 6th, we filed rate requests with the Illinois Commerce Commission for our gas utilities in Illinois. I would point out that home heating bills in Chicago are currently below those of other major U.S. cities, like New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia. And we expect that to continue with this filing. Scott will provide you with more detail in just a moment.
Turning now to our ESG progress plan that we updated for you in November. It's the largest five-year investment plan in our history, totaling $20.1 billion for efficiency, sustainability and growth. We expect the plan to drive compound earnings growth of 6.5% to 7% a year over the period of 2023 through 2027. The key part of the plan is a major commitment to renewable projects, both in our regulated business and in our infrastructure segment. In fact, earlier this week, we announced that our infrastructure group will acquire an 80% ownership interest in Phase 1 of the Samson Solar Energy Center. Located in Northeast Texas, Samson I has a capacity of 250 megawatts. It entered commercial service in May of last year and has a long-term power purchase agreement with AT&T. Pending final regulatory approval, we plan to invest approximately $250 million for our portion of Samson I. We expect to close the transaction late in the first quarter of this year. Samson I, as you may know, is the first of five phases being developed by Invenergy. Overall, Samson is the largest solar project under construction in the United States today, and we're pleased to take part in Phase 1.
Now, as you know, one of our goals is to help shape the future of clean energy. And today, we're announcing an important pilot project with the Electric Power Research Institute and a company called CMBlu Energy. CMBlu is a German designer of long duration battery storage using common low-cost, environmentally-friendly materials. In simple English, it's a green battery. This 1 to 2 megawatt hour pilot project will be one of the first of its kind on the United States electric grid. Our plan is to test the durability of this battery system. We believe it can store energy for up to twice as long as the typical batteries in use today. We plan to launch the project at our Valley Power Plant near downtown Milwaukee in the fourth quarter of this year when temperatures turn cold. The results will be shared in early 2024 across the industry.
And now, let's switch gears and take a brief look at the regional economy. Wisconsin added 52,000 private sector jobs in 2022, and in December, the unemployment rate in the state dropped to 3.2%. That's well below the national average. We believe the current strength and remarkable diversity of the Wisconsin economy positions us well as we move forward in 2023.
And with that, I'll turn the call over to Scott for more information on our regulatory developments, our operations and our infrastructure segment. Scott, all yours.