Southern got 45% of its generation from natural gas in 3Q

Southern (NYSE:SO) got more of its energy from natural gas than any other source during the third quarter and is also filing for regulatory approval of its proposed acquisition of a natural gas company.

Those are a couple of the sidelights from Southern’s earnings report material released Oct. 28.

Natural gas accounted for 45% of Southern’s energy mix in the third quarter, compared to 42% in 3Q 2014.

Coal accounted for 38% in the latest quarter, down from 42% during the same time next year. 3Q nuclear was slightly higher (15%) from a year ago when it was at 14%. Hydroelectric generation remained level at 2% during both periods.  

For the year-to-date, natural gas has accounted for 46% of Southern’s energy mix in 2015 compared to 38% during the first three quarters of 2014. Coal, however is down to 36% (compared to 43%) for the first three quarters.

In August, Southern announced that it had agreed to acquire AGL Resources (NYSE:GAS) in a deal estimated at $12bn.

AGL is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states.

Southern has already filed a merger application in Illinois on Oct. 8. A hearing is scheduled in March 2016 in Illinois. The merger application was filed in New Jersey on Oct. 16. The application was filed in Virginia on Oct. 26. No filing has been made yet in Georgia or Maryland, according to the Oct. 28 presentation.

Southern also said that thus far in 2015 its non-utility affiliate Southern Power has contracted over 1,000 MW of renewables at an average contract length of  about 22 years. The vast major are solar projects and they are located in Georgia, Oklahoma and California.

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.