Babcock & Wilcox's (NYSE:BWC) construction division has been awarded a contract by American Electric Power's (NYSE:AEP) subsidiary, Southwestern Electric Power, to construct a dry flue gas desulfurization unit at the latter's Flint Creek power plant.
The new contract will will create hundreds of jobs during peak construction periods in 2015, and is scheduled for completion in mid-2016.
McCarthy says the agency made changes when developing its rules on mercury pollution in 2012 after utilities complained, and says she "wouldn’t be surprised if we made significant” revisions to the carbon proposal.
McCarthy notes "confusion" around the targeted 30% emission cuts, saying it’s not a goal of the plan but an estimate of what the EPA thinks can be achieved.
Walter Energy (WLT -6.3%) shares aren't helped by the coal producer's statement that new EPA proposals aimed at controlling carbon emissions from U.S. power plants should have no material impact on the company; in fact, WLT is down more than peers: CNX +1.1%, BTU +0.1%, CLD -0.3%, ACI -2.8%, ANR -4.6%.
Long-term losers also will include electric companies that burn lots of coal - such as American Electric Power (AEP +0.1%), Duke Energy (DUK -0.3%), Southern Co. (SO -0.3%) and NRG Energy (NRG -0.1%) - but stiff regulations have been expected for some time.
Likely winners include companies that pump natural gas and those that use it as their primary fuel, such as Calpine (CPN +0.3%), and companies that operate nuclear plants that generate little carbon but have been expensive to run, such as Exelon (EXC -1%), hope that their aging plants will become more competitive.
A reduction in coal-fired capacity would increase utilities' demand for natural gas by 3B-10B cf/day from 22B cf/day now, potential benefiting major natural gas producers like Chesapeake Energy (CHK +2.1%), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG -0.8%) and Range Resources (RRC -0.6%).
American Electric Power (AEP), the biggest U.S. operator of coal-burning power plants, may decide later this year or early next whether it will follow Duke Energy by selling plants in the Midwest, CEO Nick Akins tells Bloomberg.
Without more earnings stability, such as long-term agreements with power buyers, Akins says AEP will look to sell the Generation Resources unit, which doesn’t get guaranteed returns like its regulated business.
The unit owns ~10K MW of power plant capacity, but Akins says his promise of 4%-6% annual growth in per-share profit for the company doesn’t hinge on those power plants.
Regional transmission organization PJM says its recent auction to procure power supplies for 2017-18 resulted in a clearing price for resources - which includes generation, annual demand response and energy efficiency - which rose to $120/MW-day for most of its deliverability area.
PJM, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and D.C., says the auction continued an overall trend toward more gas-fired generation and increasing diversity of resources.
PPL, Exelon (EXC), American Electric Power (AEP), Duke Energy (DUK), Dominion Resources (D) and FirstEnergy (FE) are all up ~1% AH.
Earlier, Barclays downgraded the entire electric sector of the U.S. high-grade corporate bond market to underweight, saying it sees long-term challenges to electric utilities from solar energy which aren't yet priced in.
Heavy winter use strained the capacity of regional transmission organizations and electric companies such as American Electric Power (AEP -2.7%) and led to, at times, 22% (40K MW) of forced outages for generating capacity vs. the average rate of 7%.
The Ohio group says the increased outage rates are proof that generating units are not being properly maintained to ensure that they work during peak demand.
American Electric Power (AEP +1.7%) shares hit all-time highs after reporting Q1 earnings surged 54% thanks to "the coldest temperatures in 35 years," which led to strong residential and commercial demand.
AEP says it saw improvement across residential and commercial customer classes, even if demand is adjusted for the weather.
Overall utility margins increased 13% to $1.5B on favorable rate decisions and lower temperatures.
Raised 2014 EPS guidance to $3.35-$3.55 vs. $3.35 analyst consensus estimate and prior guidance of $3.20-$3.40.
American Electric Power's (AEP +0.5%) net profit jumps to $346M from $21M a year earlier, with growth at many of its utility operations and benefits from rate decisions helping to outweigh the effect of customer losses after it sold its Ohio business.
In Q4 2012, higher expenses from storm restoration, warmer weather and lower grain exports dragged down AEP's utility ops.
Overall utility margins rose 4.4% to $2.19B in Q4 2013, helped by favorable rate decisions.
AEP affirmed its 2014 guidance for operating EPS of $3.20-3.40 vs consensus of $3.33. (PR) (Previous)
American Electric Power Co Inc is a public utility holding company, through its subsidiaries, provides electric service, consisting of generation, transmission and distribution, on an integrated basis to its retail customers.