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Transmission sees largest YOY increase in 2018 utility asset value

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Transmission sees largest YOY increase in 2018 utility asset value

Electric and diversified utilities in the U.S. reported a 2018 year-over-year increase of 3.7% in electric production asset value, a 7.2% gain in electric transmission asset value and a 4.5% growth in electric distribution asset value, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of 2018 FERC Form 1 data from 134 companies as of May 24.

Indianapolis Power & Light Co., an AES Corp. subsidiary, recorded the largest percentage gain in terms of generation assets with 22.9%, raising its asset value to more than $4 billion in 2018. In May 2018, it began operations at its 671-MW gas-fired Eagle Valley CC plant in Morgan County, Ind., a roughly $600 million project.

Public Service Co. of Colorado followed with generation plant asset value rising 18.5% from the prior-year period. Parent company Xcel Energy Inc. reported 2018 electric revenue of nearly $10.05 billion, a 3.8% increase from the year-ago period. In fall 2018, the company completed its 600-MW Rush Creek Wind Farm in Elbert County, Colo., a project Market Intelligence estimated to cost about $1.1 billion.

Duke Energy Florida LLC, a Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary, recorded the third-largest increase in generation asset value, at 17.4% to nearly $7.8 billion. In September 2018, the company acquired the 75-MW Trenton Solar Project in Gilchrist County, Fla. The project has an estimated construction cost of $169 million and is expected to come online in December.

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Production plant asset aggregate data includes financial data related to production from steam, nuclear, hydraulic and other plants. Expenses include land and land rights, costs of installing new equipment at existing plants, costs associated with building new plants and asset retirement costs.

Among the list of companies with at least $1 billion in transmission assets is NiSource Inc. subsidiary Northern Indiana Public Service Co. with a year-over-year increase of 58.6%. In June 2018, the company saw the completion of two transmission projects that cost about $600 million combined: the 345-kV Reynolds-Topeka transmission line and the 765-kV Greentown-Reynolds joint venture project with Duke Energy and American Electric Power Co. Inc.

Eversource Energy's NSTAR Electric Co. followed with a 55.1% year-over-year uptick in electric transmission asset value. Eversource earned $427.2 million in the transmission segment in 2018, up 9.0% from the year-ago period, and reported progress on several components of its Greater Boston Reliability Solution transmission grid upgrade.

Northern States Power Co. - Wisconsin, an Xcel Energy subsidiary, gained 20.3% in transmission assets in 2018, making it the third-largest in terms of percentage increase. The company saw the completion of its 345-kV Badger-Coulee transmission line project in December 2018, jointly owned with American Transmission Co. LLC.

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The total transmission plant account includes expenses related to installed equipment for energy storage, towers, and fixtures and asset retirement costs.

In electric distribution, NSTAR Electric, which serves the Boston area, recorded the largest year-over-year increase in asset value, at 19.8% to $6.3 billion. Duke Energy Progress LLC was next with an 11.4% gain from year-ago figures.

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Distribution plant includes expenses related to station equipment, battery storage, conductors and devices, and services and meters.

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Use S&P Global Market Intelligence's FERC Form 1 Financial and Operating Details template to see financial and operating line items for electric utilities.

Use S&P Global Market Intelligence's FERC Form 1 Peer Analysis template to compare and view financial and operating line items for a group of electric utilities.