U.S. electric utilities and power producers issued approximately $79.46 billion of securities during 2018, up 3.5% from $76.74 billion in 2017, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The total includes $65.85 billion of senior debt, a 4% decrease from $68.61 billion in 2017.
The sector in 2018 also issued $5.99 billion in common equity, $6.64 billion in preferred equity and $980 million in subordinated debt.
Largest 2018 issuers in the power sector
Sempra Energy was the largest issuer in the power sector during 2018 with approximately $7.84 billion of securities sold. Sempra also topped the list for being the largest issuer of senior debt with $5.0 billion. The utility issued $2.30 billion in preferred equity and $541.4 million in common equity. During 2018, Sempra used proceeds from the offerings to, among other things, fund its acquisition of an 80% interest in Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. was second on the ranking with $5.18 billion of securities sold in 2018 and was the top issuer of common equity in the U.S. power and electric utility sector. The Houston-headquartered company sold $1.90 billion of common equity, $1.5 billion of senior debt and $1.78 billion of preferred equity to fund its acquisition of Vectren Corp.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy issued $3.20 billion of senior debt during 2018. The company sold $1.0 billion of 4.450% senior unsecured notes due Jan. 15, 2049, to refinance a portion of the company's short-term indebtedness and for general corporate purposes. Berkshire Hathaway Energy sold $750 million of 3.800% senior unsecured notes due July 15, 2048, while subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co. issued $700 million of 3.650% first mortgage bonds due Aug. 1, 2048.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, NextEra Energy Inc. subsidiary NextEra Energy Capital Holding sold a $3.04 billion of senior debt.
Edison International subsidiary Southern California Edison Co., Consolidated Edison Inc. subsidiary Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., FirstEnergy Corp., Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, Consumers Energy Co. and NiSource Inc. were also among the top ten issuers in the power sector in 2018.