Sempra advances solar development, Cameron LNG project

Renewable energy and plans for adding natural gas natural gas liquefaction and export facilities to an existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Hackberry, La., dominated the Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) earnings call on Aug. 7.

Sempra Renewables unit saw its earnings increase from higher operating performance and deferred tax benefits for assets currently being placed in service, Sempra said.

Sempra has more than 1,000 MW of renewable generation either operating, contracted or under construction in the United States. These include Sempra’s ownership stake in various phases of the Copper Mountain Solar facility in Nevada.

Sempra just signed a power purchase agreement with an Edison International (NYSE:EIX) subsidiary for 94 MW from its Copper Mountain Solar 4. Sempra plans to sell 50% of the project.

The Edison contract would begin in 2020 and the 20-year contract is subject to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval. Look for commercial operation by end of 2016, Sempra said.

In Mexico, financing of the 156-MW Energía Sierra Juárez wind project has been completed in Baja California, Mexico. The wind project would sell power to Sempra utility subsidiary, San Diego Gas & Electric.

On the LNG front, affiliates of Sempra, Mitsubishi, Mitsui & Co., and GDF SUEZ, executed financing documents and completed the final investment decision to proceed with the Cameron LNG project.

The three-train liquefaction facility in Hackberry, La., will provide an export capability of 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). On June 19,

Cameron LNG has received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to site, construct and operate the facility.

“We expected to begin construction this year, as planned,” said Sempra CEO Debra Reed.

All FERC hurdles cleared; only important regulatory step remaining is receipt of final non- Free Trade Agreement (FTA) permit from DOE. Sempra has lined up a total financing commitment of $7.4bn.

Sempra also sees potential for billions of dollars of natural gas pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure in Mexico.

Sempra reported second-quarter 2014 earnings of $269m, or $1.08 per diluted share, up from 2013 earnings of $245m, or 98 cents per diluted share.

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.