American Electric Power agrees to acquire BlueStar Energy Holdings and its independent retail electric supplier; Carlyle provides construction financing for Enova Energy; six debt issues by Energy Transfer Partners, SCANA, TVA and others totaling $3.7 billion.
(March 2012) DTE Energy awards contract to URS; Exelon and Constellation reach an agreement with Electricite de France; Dominion and Lockheed Martin enter a joint marketing and development alliance; plus deals involving Nissan North America, CenterPoint Energy Field Services, Honeywell, Silver Spring Networks, and others.
Riverstone/Carlyle acquire eight power plants; Entergy pays $346 million to NextEra for Rhode Island plant; plus asset sales by First Energy and Thermo Cogen, and debt issues by MarkWest, Atlantic Power, Mississippi Power, and SCE totaling $1.6 billion.
The North American electric-power sector remains highly fragmented, with much consolidation potential.
During the last few years, the generating asset-ownership structure in North America has gone through a major change. During one of the most severe bust cycles of the industry, and the gradual recovery of the markets, significant amounts of assets have changed hands.
If private equity makes a killing, Congress should require full disclosure.
There’s just no stopping it. The capital amassed by private takeover firms is simply overwhelming. Any reasonable person could conclude that public utilities face wholesale changes in terms of corporate ownership. Investor-owed? You bet. But the “public” part may well give way to “private.”
Banks are reshaping the energy-trading landscape. When the dust settles, utility companies will face different strategic horizons.
Utility executives face volatile energy markets, skyrocketing fuel prices, and changing federal energy policies. How are utilities benefiting from the turnaround in energy trading?
Change is the only certainty in today’s market.
The past year has allowed the North American power sector to continue its recovery, but it has been a treacherous time for investing. Asset values, and the value of their associated debt instruments, are being driven in the short term by an extreme fuel market and in the long term by a back-to-basics mindset among electric utilities. Still, asset valuations in most markets are not yet at replacement costs, leaving current investors with a residual level of risk.
Financial buyers are snapping up power plants faster than at any time in history. The asset shift represents an interim step in a wholesale-market transformation.
Glenn P. Barba has been elected vice president and controller of Consumers Energy. He joined the utility in 2001 as controller. Previously, he served as controller for CMS Generation. Before joining CMS Generation in 1997, Barba spent nine years in public accounting, with a focus on the energy industry. Consumers Energy also named Kim D. Morris, a 20-year human resources veteran at the company, as human resources director for Consumers Energy's generating plants.