Southern Company and AGL Resources to merge in $12 billion utilities deal
As natural gas steadily becomes a larger part of the energy landscape in the United States, utility companies are looking for ways to better incorporate natural gas into their offerings to consumers and businesses. In order to upgrade its own capabilities, electric utility Southern Company has acquired natural gas specialist AGL Resources Inc. in a $12 billion merger deal.
As a result of this transaction, Atlanta-based AGL Resources will become a wholly owned subsidiary of its fellow Atlanta-based acquirer Southern Company. While AGL Resources will maintain its own management team, board of directors and headquarters, it will also bolster Southern Company with the strength of its extensive natural gas resources. According to a press release issued this week, this new entity will have the resources to supply nine million people through the strength of 200,000 miles of electric transmission and 80,000 miles of gas pipelines with generating capacity of 46,000 megawatts, distributed via 11 regulated regional electric and gas distribution companies.
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According to Southern Company executives, the decision to acquire AGL Resources Inc. is strongly influenced by the rise of natural gas and Southern Company’s need to stay ahead of energy trends in its need to meet consumer energy demands:
Fanning also noted that the sterling reputation of AGL Resources among customers was also a strong selling point:
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AGL Resources CEO and chairman John W. Somerhalder II also commented on its support for the merger and the synergies between the two companies:
This is no small merger—Fortune 1000 lister AGL Resources has been noted as one of the largest natural gas distributors in the United States, and this deal will create the second-largest utility company in the country. If shareholders approve, the merger is expected to be completed within the second half of 2016.
[SOURCE: PR Newswire]
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.