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Southern to sell assets to NextEra for $6.48B; Energy MLP model 'fading'

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Southern to sell assets to NextEra for $6.48B; Energy MLP model 'fading'

Top News

Southern strikes $6.48B deal to sell Florida assets to NextEra Energy

Southern Co. has agreed to sell Gulf Power Co., Florida City Gas and its ownership stake in two gas-fired plants in Florida to NextEra Energy Inc. for approximately $6.48 billion.

TVA weighs renewables, grid resilience in latest resource planning

The Tennessee Valley Authority is attempting to assess the risks posed by adding renewable resources and distributed generation growth as it embarks on the latest round of long-term resource planning.

Energy MLP model 'fading' as tax changes, investor preferences favor C-corps

The rush of energy company consolidations wiping out master limited partnerships has been a long time coming. A combination of low commodity prices and high leverage at MLPs became a nightmare cocktail when mixed with recent tax changes for partnerships that has accelerated a trend away from the partnership structure that started back in late 2014.

Top quotes: Export demand nice, but not tempting US coal execs to growth in Q1

U.S. coal companies have long struggled to match supply to declining demand, and executives remain cautious with the company wallet even as improved export markets offer an outlet for their product.

Power

* Michigan's two largest electric utilities have agreed to meet at least 25% of their energy demand through renewables in a deal that would end a push by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer for a state ballot initiative.

* Exelon Generation Co. LLC has agreed to keep Mystic River 8 and 9 online after May 2022 and made a full financial disclosure in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Exelon Corp. subsidiary said the disclosure would allow stakeholders to "fully and transparently review" all the costs associated with operating Mystic 8 and 9.

* The developer of the planned Lima Energy coal-fired plant in Ohio has decided not to pursue the project, according to Ohio Public Radio.

* Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution that recognizes the consequences of climate change and encourages the reduction of emissions, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported.

* FERC took steps to bolster the bulk power system's protections against geomagnetic disturbances, showing support for certain reliability standard revisions but also seeking further improvements to better address risks associated with the high-impact, low-probability threat.

* The Sweetwater County, Wyo., Commission approved a conditional-use permit for Sweetwater Solar LLC's 80-MW solar farm, The Associated Press reported.

* EDF Group is looking to sell a 49% stake in a portfolio of wind farms in the U.K., the Financial Times reported. The sale could be valued at about £600 million.

* A ballot initiative in Arizona could decide the future of the Palo Verde Generating Station, Cronkite News reported.

Natural gas/Oil

* With natural gas pipeline companies citing the burden of proposed federal tax changes in pulling their master limited partnerships off the field of play, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it will make its final decision on the tax policy based on law, with no preference for a certain corporate structure.

* Appalachian shale gas driller Rex Energy Corp. has initiated voluntary proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to facilitate an orderly sale process for its remaining assets and to address its debt obligations.

* Environmental groups contend that Atlantic Coast Pipeline could harm the yellow lance mussel, which was recently declared environmentally threatened, The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., reported.

* Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. on May 21 received its first liquefied natural gas cargo from Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point export plant in Maryland, Reuters reported.

* The limits the California Public Utilities Commission has placed on the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage field have attracted federal attention, even after the state regulator allowed the facility operator to increase gas injections.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders voted against an advisory resolution regarding the executive compensation of the company's executive officers, according to company filing.

* The British government will implement extra measures to streamline the regulation process for shale gas planning applications, Reuters reported.

Coal

* The World Coal Association appointed Peabody Energy Corp. President and CEO Glenn Kellow as its new chairman, replacing Glencore PLC executive Mick Buffier.

* With China slashing coal imports in a bid to lower air pollution and to boost the domestic industry, miners in Indonesia are carving out different strategies to adapt to the changing dynamics of the marketplace.

Commodities

* Following a 1.2-cent slump to settle at $2.847/MMBtu ahead of the weekend, NYMEX June natural gas futures extended lower overnight leading up to the Monday, May 21, open, as revisions to weather forecasts look to keep a lid on early cooling demand.

* Day-ahead power values could falter in the week's opening session Monday, May 21, in line with mostly deflating demand forecasts for Tuesday. Natural gas prices are expected to offer little in the way of support for power markets.

* Solar renewable energy credit prices in New Jersey continued to run mixed during the week ended May 18.

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New from RRA

* In a recent rate case order issued by the Illinois Commerce Commission, Southern Co. subsidiary Northern Illinois Gas Co. was authorized a gas distribution base rate increase of $93.5 million.

Quoted

"Regardless of the result at the [Royal Dutch Shell PLC] [annual general meeting], we strongly encourage all companies in this sector to clarify how they see their future in a low-carbon world. This should involve making concrete commitments to substantially reduce carbon emissions, assessing the impact of emissions from the use of their products and explaining how the investments they make are compatible with a pathway towards the Paris goal," said an open letter to the Financial Times from a group of 60 large investors urging oil and gas companies to ramp up their climate change strategies.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. equity markets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here. To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

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