Historic high fossil fuel commodity prices have prompted San Diego, CA-based Sempra Energy to consider selling or refinancing all of its Texas power generation assets, including two large coal-fired plants. With continued favorable market conditions, Sempra said it would complete the transactions next year. At stake are more than 2,000 MW and hundreds of millions of dollars.
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Historic high energy prices have Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raising different issues for the natural gas and coal sectors, according to previews Thursday of special “CreditWeek” reports scheduled to be released next week. For natural gas, the over-concentration of critical infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico region has been exposed; and for coal, financial and business-risk vulnerability are surfacing despite an 18-month steady run-up in prices, S&P said.
Just days away from the one-year anniversary of the historic Aug. 14, 2003 blackout, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) last week called for the creation of a new federal agency with the authority to develop and enforce reliability standards for the grid. He also released a new report that he says shows that the electricity grid remains exposed to further blackouts.
A group of major energy purchasers formed as a result of last month’s historic blackout urged Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) last week to reconsider a deal backed by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) that would delay implementation of FERC’s pending standard market design (SMD) proposal for U.S. wholesale power markets for several years.
Hurricane Isabel left her calling card up and down the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern parts of the U.S. on Thursday in the form of massive power outages, with 5.5 million businesses and homes estimated to have had their juice cut off as a result of the massive storm. Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. gave shippers advance notice Friday that it may have to call an operational flow order (OFO) because markets in southeastern Virginia were taking gas at abnormally low levels because of the power outages.
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has updated the agency’s guidelines for reporting the results of investigations of cultural resources (i.e. historic properties), which are carried out for new pipeline projects. For details about the guideline changes, go to the Commission’s home page at http://www.ferc.fed.us.
Two prominent energy industry consultants agreed last Tuesday at GasMart/Power in Reno that fallout from Enron’s bankruptcy probably will include significant reregulation of the energy markets and continued unprecedented financial scrutiny of the energy industry.
Two prominent energy industry consultants agreed Tuesday at GasMart/Power in Reno that fallout from Enron’s bankruptcy probably will include significant reregulation of the energy markets and continued unprecedented financial scrutiny of the energy industry.
With the ultimate energy solution dependent on a historic public bond sale targeted for August, the state of California last week got a preview of how Wall Street might view state offerings with the completion of a $1 billion general obligation bond sale. An official close to the State Treasurer Phil Angelides said the state’s banker was generally pleased with the results and optimistic for the $12.4 billion electricity bond sale in August.
The Georgia Public Service Commission concluded Atlanta GasLight Co.’s historic rate case, opening its statewide gasdistribution system to marketers. The PSC approved a customereducation program for one year and procedures for Atlanta Gas Lightto follow when sharing information with gas marketers about thecompany’s nearly 1.5 million customers. The PSC also orderedAtlanta Gas Light to cut rates by $6 million. The reduction is inaddition to a $7 million rate cut ordered in June.