By - Jim Vess

Sempra sells renewable energy assets to Consolidated Edison for $1.5 billion

Energize Weekly, October 3, 2018

Sempra Energy has agreed to sell its U.S. non-utility operating solar assets, solar and battery storage development projects and one wind facility to Consolidated Edison Inc. for $1.54 billion in cash.

“This sale represents an important step forward in the portfolio-optimization plan we announced in June to support market growth opportunities,” Joseph A. Householder, president and chief operating officer of Sempra Energy, said in a statement. “We plan to work closely with Consolidated Edison to ensure a smooth transition.”

The sale covers about 980 megawatts of installed capacity in Sempra Energy’s non-utility renewables portfolio. The sale is expected to be completed near the end of 2018.

In June, San Diego-based Sempra, the utility holding company with the largest U.S. customer base, unveiled a plan to sell its U.S. wind and solar portfolio totaling 2,600 megawatts (MW), as well as two natural gas storage facilities.

Sempra said it is also planning to sell some U.S. midstream natural gas assets and the remainder of its non-utility operating wind assets.

The moves came as the energy company was under pressure from activist investors Elliott Management and Bluescape Resources to sell its Latin American businesses and its U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) business.

On Sept. 18, Sempra reached an agreement with the two investment groups, who hold a 4.8 percent interest in the company valued at $1.6 billion, on developing a list of candidates for two new board directors and the creation of an LNG business development committee.

“Sempra Energy is committed to an open dialogue with our shareholders and to considering all investor perspectives on the company’s existing strategy and longer-term opportunities to create shareholder value,” Jeffrey W. Martin, CEO of Sempra Energy, said in a statement.

The portfolio optimization in which the company is selling assets and raising cash is part of the overall repositioning of Sempra.

The assets sold to Consolidated Edison are:

  • Mesquite Solar 2 and 3 in Arizona
  • Copper Mountain Solar 1 and 4 in Nevada
  • Great Valley Solar in California; and solar and batter- storage development projects

In addition, Consolidated Edison will acquire the facilities jointly owned with Sempra Renewables including:

  • Mesquite Solar 1; Copper Mountain Solar 2 and 3
  • The Alpaugh, Corcoranand White River solar facilities in California; and the Broken Bow II wind facility in Nebraska

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