Wed, Oct. 28, 7:34 AM
Tue, Oct. 27, 5:30 PM
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Mon, Oct. 19, 2:40 PM
Mon, Oct. 12, 10:56 AM
- Electricity producers are largely planning to comply with, not contest, the Obama administration’s new rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants, believing the new regulations at least add certainty to their plans to move away from coal to generate electricity toward cheap natural gas and renewable energy, WSJ reports.
- "Everybody is moving in this direction anyway,” Dominion (NYSE:D) CEO Tom Farrell says.
- "Our coal assets are still running but they’re not making any money," says CEO Bob Flexon of Dynegy (NYSE:DYN), whose generating capacity is ~45% coal and 55% gas. “All the earnings are coming from our gas portfolio."
- Certainly not every utility has agreed to go along with the EPA’s 15-year plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the power industry by 32% from 2005; among those who say they are still studying the rule and deciding on next steps are DUK, AEP and SO.
- ETFs: XLU, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
Wed, Sep. 30, 9:58 AM
- Southern Co. (SO -0.1%) subsidiary Mississippi Power says it it still expects the Kemper clean coal power plant will be placed in service during H1 2016 but not by April 19, which means the company would need to return $234M in tax credits to the IRS.
- Kemper’s bleeding of cash could continue for some time, as SO would incur $25M-$30M in costs above its project cap for every month that Kemper’s in-service date is delayed beyond March.
- The projected cost of the plant now stands at $6.27B vs. the original price tag of $2.4B; Mississippi Power's loss to date above the cost cap imposed by the state's public service commission is $2.12B.
Mon, Aug. 31, 5:58 PM
- Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) agrees to purchase a 51% stake in the 200 MW Tranquility solar project in California from Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) unit Recurrent Energy for an undisclosed sum.
- The plant is going up in Fresno County, and its power is to be sold to Southern California Edison under a 15-year power purchase agreement; the project is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2016.
- The developers expect the project to produce enough electricity to meet the power needs of ~55K homes.
Mon, Aug. 24, 7:49 AM
- Southern Company (NYSE:SO) agrees to acquire AGL Resources (NYSE:GAS) for $66/share in cash, a 38% premium over Friday's closing price, in a deal with an enterprise value of ~$12B including debt.
- SO says the deal will create the second-largest utility company in the U.S. by customer base, with 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies providing service to ~9M customers with a projected regulated rate base of ~$50B.
- SO expects the deal to increase EPS in the first full year after the close and drive long-term EPS growth to 4%-5%.
Wed, Jul. 29, 7:18 AM
Tue, Jul. 28, 6:25 PM
- Start-up costs for Mississippi Power's Kemper County power plant added $9M more to its cost, Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) says in its monthly status report to the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
- The update raises the project's expense by $23M for April through June and puts the plant's total cost at $6.2B.
- SO says it recorded Q2 charges to income of ~$23M as a result of the increase in estimated capped costs.
Mon, Jul. 20, 3:29 PM
Wed, Jul. 8, 5:27 PM
- S&P places its ratings for Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) on Credit Watch negative after Mississippi regulators yesterday ordered SO's Mississippi Power subsidiary to lower rates later this month and plan for customer refunds by November.
- The Public Service Commission order complies with a state Supreme Court order that found a 2013 rate increase for the $6.2B Kemper County plant was illegal.
- With interest, ~$350M is due to the company's 186K customers; an average 1,000 Kwh/month residential customer would receive $500-$600.
- S&P says the order suggests "a deteriorating regulatory relationship with the company [that] raises the probability of lower ratings if MPC is required to fully roll back that rate increase and make full, immediate refunds."
- Kemper's costs have significantly exceeded original estimates, and more than $2B has been written off as unrecoverable.
Thu, Jun. 25, 4:46 PM
- Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) affiliate Alabama Power has agreed to retire some of its coal-burning power plants and convert others to natural gas as part of a federal court order.
- Alabama Power, the EPA and the Justice Department filed a joint stipulation in U.S. District Court today to modify a consent decree the utility entered into in 2006 stemming from a civil lawsuit charging violations of the Clean Air Act.
- Under the proposed modification, which would resolve all claims in the case, Alabama Power would agree to emissions limits at several coal-burning units, pay a $100K penalty and invest $1.5M over three years in electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects.
Wed, Jun. 24, 3:19 PM
- Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI -1.9%) is maintained with an Underperform rating and $30 price target by Macquarie, which sees news on nuclear flow continuing to be negative with the likelihood of further project delays.
- The firm notes that milestone activities related to Southern's (NYSE:SO) Vogtle nuclear plant have continued to slip, with only 23.7% of construction completed as of April; CBI CFO Michael Taff has said cost overruns would be borne by partner Westinghouse, but Macquarie thinks that is unlikely and CBI will be held partially responsible.
- While some delays may be related to reactor design amendments, the project schedule also is impacted by "required repair work on... legacy modules from Lake Charles," which the firm says "further confirms that CBI will be held partially responsible."
Wed, Jun. 10, 9:57 AM
- PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. electricity grid, wins approval from U.S. regulators for a plan to increase reliability at power plants and avoid a repeat of the shutdowns and price spikes during the unseasonably cold winter of 2014.
- Under the plan, which takes effect in 2018 after a capacity auction this year, generators that promise to be available during peak demand periods will receive higher payouts than other plants and will be penalized for failing to meet the commitments; the auction, planned for May, was delayed after FERC declined PJM’s initial proposal and asked for more information.
- The largest generators in PJM are trading higher at the open: NRG +4.2%, AEP +1.4%, EXC +3.1%, PEG +1.1%, DYN +7.2%.
- Also: TLN +4%, NEE +1.2%, PCG +0.7%, EE +1.5%, SO +0.5%, D +0.2%, DUK +0.9%, XLU +0.9%.
Thu, May 28, 12:58 PM
- Southern Co. (SO -0.6%) CEO Tom Fanning tells CNBC the company now derives 48% of its energy from natural gas vs. 16% five years ago, has reduced its coal mix to 32% from 70%, and is "leading the renaissance of nuclear [energy] in America."
- SO's clean coal technology actually is cleaner than natural gas from a carbon footprint standpoint, the CEO says, believing the technology has applications in China and eastern Europe.
- SO is one of the biggest investors in solar energy in the U.S., but Fanning concedes that the tax benefits from the government make the economics of using solar work, and "without the tax benefits, it's not as competitive for sure."
Wed, May 27, 3:58 PM
- Southern Co. (SO +1.2%) Chairman/CEO/President Thomas Fanning says the company has reached an agreement with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to test commercial-scale battery storage.
- Under the TSLA agreement, SO will "examine potential applications for the energy storage technology in helping meet customers' energy needs," Fanning says at the annual shareholder's meeting.
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