Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sempra Divesting Solar for LNG, Regulated Ventures

By Hudson Sangree

Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy is on track to sell its renewable energy assets and invest the funds elsewhere, including in liquefied natural gas projects, the company said in its third-quarter earnings call.

“LNG is a key component of Sempra’s vision of becoming North America’s premier energy infrastructure company,” Sempra said during its slide presentation accompanying the earnings call Nov. 7.

Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy, headquartered in downtown San Diego, released its 2018 Q3 earnings report.

Sempra, headquartered in San Diego, reported third-quarter earnings of $274 million ($0.99/share), up from $57 million ($0.22/share) in the third quarter of 2017. The company’s Q3 2017 earnings were hobbled by the wildfire costs of its subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric. (See SDG&E’s Wildfire Costs Undercut Sempra Profits.)

Sempra has been moving away from commodities and putting its money into infrastructure.

In September, the company announced it was selling its interest in 980 MW of resources — 11 solar assets across the Southwest, solar and battery storage development projects and a wind facility in Nebraska — to Consolidated Edison.

Sempra is also investing in transmission and distribution infrastructure in Texas.

In October, Sempra said its Oncor utility subsidiary would acquire transmission owner InfraREIT, while Sempra will buy a 50% stake in Sharyland Utilities. (See Sempra, Oncor Deals Target Texas Transmission.)

“Our agreement to sell our U.S. solar assets is important. We expect to utilize capital from our solar asset sales to significantly expand our regulated Texas utility platform through Oncor’s acquisition of InfraREIT and our acquisition of a 50-percent interest in Sharyland,” Martin said in a Q3 earnings news release.

“We also have made significant progress toward our goal of becoming a market leader in North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, recently securing preliminary commercial agreements for development of several LNG export projects.”