Sempra renewables unit makes headway on projects

The Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) renewable unit made progress on several power projects during the third quarter, company officials reported Nov. 5.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power has acquired the rights to develop the 75-MW Broken Bow 2 wind project in Nebraska, Sempra noted during its regular earnings conference call. The project is expected to start operations in late 2014, officials said.

The project will supply power to the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) under a long-term contract.

Sempra officials noted that the company is involved in a joint venture with Consolidated Edison Development in the 150-MW Copper Mountain Solar 2 project near Las Vegas and the 170-MW Mesquite Solar 1project in Arizona.

Consistent with its existing strategy, Sempra has launched a process to sell down 50% equity in Copper Mountain Solar 3 and seek project financing.

In conventional generation, Sempra CEO Debra L. Reed said subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is joining the legal fight that Edison International (NYSE:EIX) has launched against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) over “faulty” steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

SDG&E was a minority partner to Edison subsidiary Southern California Edison (NYSE:SCE) in dual unit nuclear plant that was officially retired earlier this year.

Sempra officials said additional infrastructure spending, including transmission, will be needed in California to compensate for the closure of San Onofre and potential generation retirements from once-through.

Reed also does not expect California regulators to issue any delay in once-through cooling rules.

Sempra reported third-quarter 2013 earnings of $296m, or $1.19 per diluted share, up from $268m, or $1.09 per diluted share in 3Q12.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.