New bids for Dominion's offshore wind pilot put costs above $300M
DominionVirginia Power said April 7 it has received bids for the different phases of itsplanned 12-MW offshore wind project with overall costs forecast in the $300 millionto $380 million range. The anticipated costs are still above the company's initial$230 million benchmark, but lower than a previous bid.
Baker Hughes to benefit if DOJ kills Halliburton takeover, analysts say
The U.S.government's move to blockthe merger of two of the top three oil-field services providers leaves all of thedownside with buyer Halliburton Co.and the upside — including a $3.5 billion breakup fee — with target , credit and equity analystssaid.
Clock ticking after former coal boss Blankenship files notice of appeal
Facinga sentence of a year in prison and the maximum fine of $250,000 for a misdemeanorconviction, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship may now pivot his attentionto appealing his convictionand sentence.
* is likely to exclude companies that opposed its recently approved income guaranteeplan in Ohio from taking part in the bidding process for the of its Midwest generation assets, CEO Bob Flexon told theColumbusBusiness First. Dynegy, a vocalopponent of AEP and FirstEnergy's power purchase agreements, had expressedinterest in buying theplants that were not part of the PPAs. "This is an ego thing," Flexonsaid of AEP. "They're going to exclude any strategic buyer who would pay ahigher price to say, 'We didn't invite you.'"
* TheMassachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill that would increase the capon solar net metering by 3% for both public and private projects, TheRepublican of Springfield, Mass., reports. The bill would decrease the reimbursementrate by 40% paid to most solar energy producers.
* Proposedchanges to Kingsport Power Co.'snet metering tariff for its solar customers in Tennessee could , according toseveral renewable energy and solar energy groups in the state.
* SolarCity Corphas secured approximately $188 million in financing for residential solar projects.The rooftop solar developer said it closedthe second financing with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and another undisclosedinvestor.
* A newpaper publishedin the journal Science suggests that global temperatures could rise higher thanpreviously estimated — between 5.0°C and 5.3°C as opposed to 2.0°C to 4.6°C projectedcurrently. Given that existing models have "difficulty of establishing theeffects of clouds on Earth's energy budget," researchers used satellite observationsto constrain the radiative impact of mixed phase clouds to come up with a "realisticrepresentation" of climate change.
* EPAAdministrator Gina McCarthy said the agency's new rules to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industrywill help facilitate more "sustainable" fossil fuel development, TheHill in Washington, D.C., reports. "When you leak methane you are highlyinefficient, not just highly polluting," McCarthy was quoted as saying. "Wehave to get the methane out of the system. We're going to do it together, and we'redoing to do it on oil and gas."
* Geopoliticaluncertainty and over-regulation toppedthe list of outside threats to growth at the world's oil and gas companies,according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global CEO Survey for 2016. The results reflectthe potential effects of climate change regulationsand political conflict,as well as the fact that a high number of companies in the survey are state-owned.
* Latestin a string of challenges,Faruqi & Faruqi LLP has fileda class-action lawsuit against SempraEnergy in connection with the natural gas leak at its Aliso Canyon storage facility in California. The lawsuit focuses on whetherSempra and its executives violated federal securities laws by failing to disclosewhether its Southern California GasCo. subsidiary lacked the capability to expeditiously repair gas and control their severe threatto public safety and health.
* said it hasacquireda 50% working interest in certain assets and partnered with Northcote Energy Ltd. to accelerate and expand Northcote'sdrilling operations in the Shoats Creek field in Southwest Louisiana. Financialdetails of the deal were not disclosed.
* Citingcurrent market conditions, ChevronCorp. is laying off 655 workers in Houston, TheAssociated Press reports.
*In voicing concerns over 's combination with , the U.S.Department of Defense said the deal "could adversely affect" the country'snational defense, Reutersreports. The department raised its concerns in a letter to the U.S. Surface TransportationBoard.
* announcedApril 7 that it has signed an agreementto explore a potential joint venture with AMCIHoldings Inc. subsidiary ION Carbon & Minerals LLC.
* continued itscorporate reorganization April 7 with the announcement that Executive Vice Presidentand Chief Commercial Officer James Grech will retire from his positions following the recent sale of companyassets.
*Hydropower production inthe northwestern U.S. was above averagein March and increased by nearly a third versus the prior month to bring year-to-datefigures above historical averages. But year-to-date totals are below year-ago levels,implying a healthier water year for the region.
*After rising by 10.7 cents in the prior session to a finish at $2.018/MMBtu, Maynatural gas futures toyed with thedownside overnight ahead of the Friday, April 8, open, as market focusreverted to the bearish implications of record-high inventories and moderating weatherin forecasts that should eventually sap demand and allow for the onset of a steadystream of stock injections.
* Naturalgas supply and demand in the United States werehigher during the week ended April 6, the U.S. Energy Information Administrationsaid in its latest "Natural Gas Weekly Update" released April 7.
* Power prices at the daily markets could end the workweek aimedin diverging directionsFriday, April 8, as market participants look to jumbled demand expectations forthe start of the workweek but with recent sharp gains for natural gas futures.
New from RRA
* Ina Topical Special Report issued April 6, Regulatory Research Associates a jurisdictional overviewof the relevant regulatory framework utilized by commissions in the 50 U.S. statesand the District of Columbia when reviewing proposed mergers and acquisitions involvingelectric and gas utilities.
*Pursuant to a by the KansasCorporation Commission on March 17, AtmosEnergy Corp. must file an abbreviated rate case by March 2017 and willbe subject to a multiyear rate moratorium thereafter. Regulatory Research Associates,which is a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, provides an overview andcommentary on the KCC decision in a Rate Case Final Report dated April 7.
"Inrecent years, what's bolstered this trend is that these companies are interestedin low-cost, fixed-price energy," American Wind Energy Association researchanalyst Hannah Hunt said,discussing the release of data showing a sharp increase in 2015 of direct purchasesof wind-generated power by nonutility buyers.
The day ahead