Southern Co. chose Francis S. Blake to stand for election to its board of directors. Blake is an executive vice president at The Home Depot. Blake's election would bring the board to 11 members.
Mirant announced that M. Michele Burns is the company's new CFO and executive vice president, charged with leading the company's financial restructuring. Burns previously has been executive vice president for Delta Air Lines Inc. and a partner with Arthur Anderson LLP.
Business & Money
A spate of proposed U.S. tax rule changes soon may open a window of opportunity for certain utilities.
In the mid-1990s, before the rise of the Internet and the fall of Enron changed the calculus of business investing and the regulatory landscape, the historically staid U.S. utility industry began to be viewed as a "growth play." This triggered a global buying spree that led U.S. companies to invest tens of billions of dollars in electricity generation and distribution businesses all over the world.
Southern Co. appointed Chris Hobson senior vice president of environmental affairs, reporting to Charles Goodman, the company's newly named senior vice president of environmental policy and research. Hobson currently serves as vice president of environmental affairs for Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power.
Allegheny Energy named Max Kuniansky director of investor relations. He previously held the position of vice president of investor relations for B/E Aerospace and investor relations specialist for FPG Group Inc.
Financial players and load-serving utilities are looking for power asset deals.
Despite talk of wide bid-ask spreads in the past two tumultuous years, some 60 sales of generation assets have been announced. These sales cover more than 22 GW of capacity, valued on a cash-and-debt basis at approximately $11 billion. A wide variety of buyers and sellers have participated in the sales activity, with a pronounced entry by financial players (investment banks and private equity firms) and load-serving entities (LSEs) looking for capacity to serve their load.
A number of factors point to expanded nuclear generation. But when?
The role that nuclear power will play in the U.S. electricity generation mix during the coming decades has been a subject of continuing speculation. Few analysts deny the remarkably improved prospects for the existing fleet of reactors: Efficiencies realized by industry consolidation, reactor uprates, and plant license renewals have, in a period of about five years, greatly increased the market value of nuclear plants and the competitive advantage of companies that own them.
Business & Money
Sizable gains return to the market.
With an average appreciation of 18.9 percent since we last ran SNL Financial's dividend data , SNL's safe dividend picks appeared to do well for any market. However, like the fine golden years of the late '90s for all things technology, recent months have returned sizable gains to investors of energy stocks-not what one would expect from slow growth, dividend-paying electric and gas utilities that make up the majority of the SNL Energy universe.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission established the position of deputy executive director for Homeland Protection and Preparedness, naming William F. Kane to fill the role. Kane previously oversaw the offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, Enforcement, Investigations, and the Regions.
The Allegheny Energy Inc. board of directors named Florida Power & Light Co. President Paul Evanson its new chairman, replacing the retiring Alan J. Noia. Allegheny's interim president, Jay Pifer, assumed the duties of COO at Allegheny. Evanson had been with Florida Power and Light since 1992. He will be replaced temporarily by Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group, until a permanent replacement is found.