FPL, Gulf Power Plan to Merge

FPL, Gulf Power Plan to Merge

By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — In a move that would create a utility with customers from Miami to Pensacola, Florida Power & Light and Gulf Power plan to merge in 2022, their parent company, NextEra Energy, said Wednesday.

NextEra, which has long included FPL, closed a deal in January 2019 to purchase Gulf Power from Southern Company. But FPL and Gulf, which have a combined total of about 5.5 million customers, did not merge.

In a news release Wednesday about its quarterly earnings, NextEra said it has made a filing at the state Public Service Commission that “reflects the expectation that FPL and Gulf Power will begin to operate as an integrated electric system in 2022.”

“Since the Gulf Power acquisition closed in 2019, FPL and Gulf Power have been reviewing the potential benefits of merging into a single, larger Florida utility company,” the news release said. “Based on this review, the companies expect that a merger will create both operational and financial benefits for customers. As a result, the companies plan to take additional steps to merge over the coming months.”

An accompanying earnings presentation said FPL and Gulf expect to file a combined base-rate case in 2021 at the Public Service Commission, with new rates effective in 2022.

The filing at the Public Service Commission, known as a “Ten-Year Site Plan,” indicates the 2022 merger date is tied to the completion of a major new transmission line, which will go from Columbia County to Jackson County. The project is designed to provide an improved connection between the FPL and Gulf systems.

“NextEra Energy’s plan is to integrate FPL and Gulf into a single electric operating system effective on January 1, 2022 after the completion of a new 161 kV transmission line (the North Florida Resiliency Connection line) that will enhance the electrical connection between the two systems,” the site plan, dated this month, said. “This enhanced connection will benefit customers in both systems by better enabling the siting of clean, reliable, low cost generation, and the transmission of energy from those facilities, to all customers.”

The filing offers glimpses of how the utilities have worked together since NextEra purchased Gulf. For example, it said that since January 2019, certain “planning services have been, and will continue to be, performed for both companies by FPL’s resource planning group.”

Also, Marlene Santos, a longtime executive at FPL, was installed as president of Gulf Power after the purchase by NextEra.

FPL is by far the largest utility in the state with roughly 5 million customers along much of the East Coast and parts of Southwest Florida and North Florida. Gulf has about 470,000 customers in eight counties in the Panhandle.

NextEra and Southern Company in May 2018 announced a $6.475 billion deal that included NextEra purchasing Gulf Power, the Florida City Gas natural-gas company and ownership interests in two power plants.

FPL and Gulf are two of the state’s four largest privately held electric utilities, along with Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co.

12 Responses to "FPL, Gulf Power Plan to Merge"

    1. I like the flip it process:
      Imagine a world in which Gillum won as Governor and DeSantis was caught in the hotel room with all it’s implied sexual overtones and drugs.
      Would DeSantis get the same softball coverage? Would the police body cams be blured?
      Would reporter(s) dig and dig to provide information on if DeSantis actually checked into a rehabilitation facility?
      The flip it process can actually be very enlightening to use once and a while.

      1. Oh I forgot – would the media just gloss over the cock & bull story of being in Miami for “a wedding” without digging into the basics?
        Whose wedding, where was the event held, how do you know the “wedding couple”, where is your wife, does your wife also know the “wedding couple”?
        We got none of the media coverage and due diligence reporting we would have got if we flipped it: “To A World Where Gillum was Governor and DeSantis was the idiot found in the drug induced hotel room pants down non-majority preference sexual implication situation.
        The public has been robbed of due diligence news reporting.

          1. And meanwhile
            John Morgan’s been strangely quiet – totally out of character for John. Ultima and Emma must have John on lock down. Probley confiscated his cell phone too.

          2. Oh my bad … family law cases in Leon County take a while to hit the searchable data base at the clerk of the court.
            And even then they just show the most minimum of information…just that a motion was filed and its family law and often theres a seperate domestic violence injuction associated with it.
            The gory details are never put online…but you can get them by personally appearing at the clerks office and paying a nominal per page fee. This first world major inconvenience and the squeezing out of a few dollars deters all but the most determined of truth seeking reporters…so we wont likely know much more unless we as individuals make that drive down to the court house.

    1. Why? FPL has the lowest rates in the State and runs a well oiled operation. I had them when I lived in S Fla. now I have Tally City Utilities with higher prices and fairly regular outages. I wish Tallahassee would sell to NexEra.

  1. Instead, we should split them & other electricity firms in FL, and require that they serve over-lapping territories, i.e. compete. ??

    And repeal those requirements for “certification” of “convenience & necessity”. (“Certification”, “certificated”…count on bureaubums & legislators to use use 5 syllables when 3 — certify, certified — will do. This balderdash about begging for papers recording official permission to exercise rights is not-so-remotely akin to the leftist media clowns ? calling illegal aliens “undocumented migrants”.) I’m glad Mark R. Levin, esq., has brought up the harm done in medical care because of such requirements to be permitted to build hospitals & clinics in some states.

  2. This is way too big of a merger affecting way too many citizens to be left to the 2 or 3 final decision makers at Florida’s Public Service Commission.
    I suggest the Governor find a way to get the final state approval/denial of the merger as a function of The Florida Legislature. If both The House and Senate bless the merger only then should it be allowed.

    1. Why? FPL has the lowest rates in the State and runs a well oiled operation. I had them when I lived in S Fla. now I have Tally City Utilities with higher prices and fairly regular outages. I wish Tallahassee would sell to NexEra.

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