(October 2012) Entergy Mississippi to spin off its transmission business to ITC; Calpine acquires Bosque Power merchant plant in Texas; WPS acquires Fox Energy plant; E.On buys interest in Magic Valley wind farm; plus bond issues by Nstar, Western Mass. Electric, Texas Eastern Transmission, Alabama Power, and NSP totaling $1.55 billion.
Calpine signs PPA with Public Service Company of Oklahoma; TransCanada and Ontario PowerAuthority agree to develop 900-MW gas-fired power plant; Panda selects Siemens to build combined-cycle plant; Progress Energy retires coal plants dating from 1923; Southern Company and Turner acquire 30-MW PV project; PSO begins smart meter pilot rollout; Southern California Edison contracts with Corix to install smart meters; Iberdrola USA hires Burns and McDonnell to review grid infrastructure. Plus contracts and announcements from Itron, eMeter, Echelon, Quanta Services, DNV, Metadigm, Landis+Gyr, and others.
Utilities stay the course in a volatile market.
A wave of mergers and acquisitions is moving through the industry, as utilities and financial players position for growth and strategic advantage. Will economic and regulatory forces continue supporting these transactions? Our annual finance special report examines trends in capital markets and M&A deals involving utilities, power generators and gas suppliers.
SMS offers an alternative to paper billing. Smart Meters Driving Adoption Customer Engagement Supporting the Payment Process Learning from Europe
Text messaging promises benefits in customer service and bill-payment efficiencies. Utilities have been slow to take up the opportunities, but successes in other industries and among European utilities is opening the door to SMS transactions for American power companies.
Utility deals resume after 18 months of austerity.
Utilities are taking advantage of a sweet spot in the capital markets, pre-funding and refinancing at record low rates. But cheap money won’t resolve overhanging uncertainties preventing cap-ex projects and M&A deals. Greater certainty in America’s economic and policy outlook will clear a path for strategic change.
Do regulatory and economic trends favor industry mergers?
Now that some new major transactions have emerged, and financial recovery appears slowly moving forward, utility mergers are beginning to appear likely again. Although regulatory hurdles still impede new transactions, some changes at the federal level are reducing concerns about market power and competition. Plus, changing market conditions and new compliance requirements are strengthening the case for scale economics.
Why U.S. public utility commission-style ratemaking has becomes a hit overseas.
Gregory Aliff and Branko Terzic
What are some approaches to regulation adopted in recent decades by national governments, and the implications for management making international investment decisions?
Can the upward swing in global power infrastructure investment be sustained?
The current recovery in global power-sector investment is being driven not only by rising demand for power, but also by the huge levels of liquidity in global financial markets. How long will the current up-cycle last?
Incentives for transmission investment could boost postage-stamp pricing over license-plate rates.
FERC proposed a new set of regulations, under the new section 219 of the Federal Power Act, explaining in broad outline how it might approve generous financial incentives for new investments in transmission—incentives once dubbed as “candy.” As of mid-January, the new NOPR had spawned more industry comment than just about any other FERC proposal in recent memory.
Bridgett Neely & A.J. Goulding
Several hurdles remain to further liberalization and full competition in the electricity sector.
Two major trends can be observed in Europe's electricity sector. First, the increasing importance of private-sector participation in a sector that was traditionally viewed as belonging to the state.