Sempra Energy is selling off a portion of its energy generation assets as part of an activist shareholder’s push to “optimize” its portfolio. Included in these sales are two fossil assets – the Mississippi Hub, an underground salt dome with 22 billion cubic feet of working natural gas storage capacity near Jackson, Mississippi, and the company’s 91% ownership interest in Bay Gas Storage, a natural gas storage facility near Mobile, Ala.
Along with the fossil asset sales are renewables assets – 2.6 GW in total, with just over 1.3 GW being wind power resources as well as 1.26 GW of solar power. The solar projects are located in California, Nevada and Arizona. There are nine unique developments sites, with one site – the Alpaugh Solar Assets – having three plants.
The sale will also include renewable projects in development, but all of the solar projects are online and generating power.
“Renewable energy is a vital part of the energy landscape and we have developed a great platform, but we have determined that our U.S. solar and wind generation businesses would be more valuable to another owner,” said Sempra Energy CEO Jeffrey W. Martin in a statement.
He said the company would continue to source renewables for its customers in the future.
The individual solar projects for sale are:
- Alpaugh, Tulare County, CA – 70 MW, commissioned 2012. PG&E PPA signed.
- Corcoran I, Tulare County, CA – 20 MW, commissioned 2013, PG&E PPA signed.
- White River 1, Tulare County, CA – 20 MW, commissioned 2013, PG&E PPA signed.
- Copper Mountain Solar 1, Boulder City, NV – 58 MW, commissioned 2010, PG&E PPA signed.
- Copper Mountain Solar 2, Boulder City, NV – 150 MW, commissioned 2012 (92 MW) and 2015 (58 MW), PG&E PPA signed.
- Copper Mountain Solar 3, Boulder City, NV – 250 MW, commissioned 2015, South California Public Power Authority PPA signed.
- Copper Mountain Solar 4, Boulder City, NV – 94 MW, commissioned 2016, SoCal Edison PPA signed.
- Great Valley Solar, Fresno County, CA – 200 MW, commissioned late 2017/ early 2018, PPAs signed with: Southern California Edison (20 MW), Pacific Gas & Electric (20 MW), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (60 MW), and Marin Clean Energy (100 MW).
- Mesquite Solar 1, Tonopah, AZ – 150 MW, commissioned 2012, PG&E PPA signed.
- Mesquite Solar 2, Tonopah, AZ – 100 MW, commissioned 2016, SoCal Edison PPA signed.
- Mesquite Solar 3, Tonopah, AZ – 150 MW, commissioned 2016, Western Area Power Administration on behalf of United States Department of Navy PPA signed.
This move follows an emphasis by many power companies on off-loading generation assets to focus on the safer revenues from retail electricity sales, often pushed by investors. The most famous example would be NRG’s U-turn on renewables following the removal of CEO David Crane; however many companies have followed suit and the assets sold have by no means been limited to renewable energy generation.