NextEra Completes $6.5B Gulf Power deal with Southern

Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. this week completed its $6.5 billion acquisition of Gulf Power and other gas power interests from fellow utility giant Southern Co.

The deal, first announced in May 2018, also includes Florida City Gas, a 100-percent ownership interest in the 791-MW Oleander gas-fired plant and a 65-percent stake in the 660-MW Stanton Energy Center. The 15-year-old Stanton facility, which is a dual-fuel, combined-cycle gas plant near Orlando, was jointly owned by Southern, Orlando Utilities Commission, Kissimmee Utility Authority and Florida Municipal Power Agency.

Gulf Power serves 450,000 customers in eight counties in northwest Florida and holds 9,500 miles of power lines and 2.3 GW of electric generating capacity. Florida City Gas serves 110,000 customers in Miami-Dade, Brevard, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

“We are excited to welcome our new colleagues from Gulf Power to the NextEra Energy family,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy. “The last few months have been among the most challenging periods in Gulf Power’s rich history as the team worked tirelessly to restore power to those impacted by Hurricane Michael. We couldn’t be more pleased by Gulf Power’s performance and commitment to getting the lights back on during what were extremely dangerous and difficult conditions. As we turn to the future, we look forward to extending to Gulf Power’s customers our best-in-class value proposition of low bills, clean energy, high reliability and outstanding customer service.”

The transaction also includes the assumption of $1.4 billion of Gulf Power’s debt. NextEra plans to finance the $5.1 billion purchase through new debt, though the company is expected to maintain $5 billion to $7 billion of excess balance sheet.

NextEra pledged to continue making infrastructure investments at both Gulf Power and Florida City Gas.