Tag Archives: SO

Southern Company buying half of SONAT from KMI

SO is buying 50% of SONAT from KMI, as multiple people have pointed out, including someone from Southern Company. SO: SONAT in the Southeast Unfortunately SO is not just investing in existing pipelines: this purchase is about “specific growth opportunities”, and yes, it’s tied to SO’s recent purchase of AGL. Southern Company needs to stop plugging dying 20th century fossil fuels and get on with what it’s already started with solar power (and offshore wind).

Southern Company PR 10 July 2016, Southern Company, Kinder Morgan enter Southern Natural Gas pipeline strategic venture, Continue reading

Southern Co. gets serious about smart grid: buys PowerSecure

While FPL wastes $3 billion on the 20th century Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, Southern Company (SO) shows it’s serious about distributed energy by buying distributed grid infrastructure company PowerSecure (POWR) for $431 million. That announcement not only bumped POWR stock up by about 75%, the same day (yesterday) smart grid company EnerNOC (ENOC) shares went up 20%. That last could be coincidental, since ENOC announced earnings. But with two smart grid companies going up, the renewable solar and wind energy future is coming closer.

PRNewswire, 24 February 2016, Southern Company to Acquire PowerSecure International, Inc.: Addition of PowerSecure’s proven expertise positions Southern Company to advance distributed infrastructure development, Continue reading

SO’s plan to make the Southeast a net exporter of the energy from solar and wind? –John S. Quarterman @ SO 2013-05-22

SO CEO Tom Fanning didn’t budge from nuclear and coal, but he did announce a tiger team to get on top of distributed solar and wind through a smart grid, headed by SO’s COO, at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting.

Next question --Tom Fanning Mr. John S. Quarterman from Lowndes County, Georgia, and he holds 220 shares of Southern Company.

TF: Hello, John. Good to see you again this year.

jsq with SO fade jsq: Hi. I’ve come to compliment Tom Fanning and Paul Bowers. Last year, Tom Fanning was so persuasive I ran out and bought $10,000 worth of stock.

TF: Bless you. [Applause]

However, apparently because of SO’s admission a few minutes before in that same meeting that it was going to have to eat Kemper Coal cost overruns, SO stock tanked that same day, causing my stock to stop out, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded SO the following day because of Kemper Coal, noting that if the same thing happened with SO’s nuclear project at Plant Vogtle, S&P’s would probably Continue reading

Georgia Power wants more of your money to pay for its bad bets

It’s the annual Georgia Power rate hike, blaming everything except coal and nukes.

Georgia Power PR 28 June 2013, Georgia Power seeks cost recovery for infrastructure investments,

Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for permission to increase its base rates approximately $482 million, or 6.1 percent. The request is being made to allow the company to recover the costs of recent and future investments in infrastructure —including environmental controls, transmission and distribution, generation, and smart grid technologies — required in order to maintain high levels of reliability and superior customer service.

The proposed change in rates would be effective Jan. 1, 2014.

What a coincidence! One year to the month after the last rate hike. Once again blaming “smart grid technologies, environmental controls”, etc. Much more likely, this has to do with the recent downgrades of Georgia Power’s parent the Southern Company, and those were for coal and nukes. As Adam Smith said two centuries ago, “utilities levy an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow citizens”.


Southern Company downgraded because of coal and nukes –two analysts

It’s not like they weren’t warned, about coal and about nukes. It’s not Standard & Poor’s this time, but that could happen soon, too. SO’s biggest part, Georgia Power, is neck-deep in nukes, as Edison Electric Institute’s warning about the disruptive challenge of distributed solar starts to affect its parent’s stock price.

Zacks.com wrote 21 June 2013, Southern Company Slips to Sell – Analyst Blog

On Jun 20, Zacks Investment Research downgraded electric utility firm, Southern Company ( SO ), to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Continue reading

Privatize TVA? Southern Company would like that

The hydropower assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority would give Southern Company a way to avoid doing distributed solar for a while. Will SO CEO Tom Fanning and Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers bit the bullet and go straight for distributed solar instead of helping Duke privatize TVA for a short-term stopgap that would set both of them farther behind the disruptive solar curve?

SolarCity and Southern Company stock
Blue line: SCTY; red line: SO, chart by Google Finance.
May 16th: Goldman Sachs invested $500 million in SCTY.
May 22nd: SO stockholder meeting.
May 24th: S&P downgrades SO.

Wes Patoka wrote for Motley Fool 24 May 2013, Who Benefits the Most if the TVA Is Privatized,

Continue reading

Look at Southern Company’s safety performance –SO CEO Fanning

SO CEO Fanning on Fukushima At last year’s Southern Company Stockholder Meeting, Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning said about the U.S. nuclear industry and Southern Company’s safety performance:

And if you look at our performance, we absolutely meet the standards that our customers expect and frankly deserve. So let’s start there.

Since then SO has not managed to pour the concrete base correctly at Plant Vogtle and not managed to get a reactor vessel from Savannah port to the site. Also existing Vogtle Unit 1 had a fire while Unit 2 was shut down for almost all of March 2013. The two Plant Hatch reactors, same design as Fukushima, so far as we know still have substandard fire protection and has a chronic problem of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater. Tritium, even the smallest amounts of which can have negative health effects. And what gets into the watershed spreads in the watershed. The U.S. nuclear industry in general has problems with alcohol, drugs, and broken equipment. But back to SO CEO Fanning about Fukushima: Continue reading

Softbank’s Son to install solar in Japan: watch out, Georgia Power!

The same Masayoshi Son who shook up Japan’s Internet market and is about to do the same in the U.S. is moving to modify Japan’s power market from nuclear to solar. Watch out, Georgia Power and Southern Company! If you don’t get a move on, Son-san will eat your lunch, too.

Mariko Yasu wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek 23 June 2011, Softbank’s CEO Wants a Solar-Powered Japan,

Masayoshi Son Billionaire Masayoshi Son made a fortune taking on Japan’s phone monopoly. Now he aims to shake up its power utilities after the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. The 53-year-old chief executive officer of Softbank says he will build solar farms to generate electricity, with support from at least 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. He’s asking for access to transmission networks owned by the 10 regional utilities and an agreement that they buy his electricity. No other company has secured unlimited access to the those transmission networks. The utilities would not comment. Japan’s main business organization, the Keidanren, called for “careful analysis” before any drastic change in the power system took place.

If Japan ever felt ready to back Son’s ambitious plan, this is the moment. Radiation has spread across at least 600 square kilometers (230 square miles) in the northeast since the Mar. 11 earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in May he will rethink a plan to increase atomic power to 50 percent of the nation’s energy output from 30 percent. Renewable energy already accounts for 10 percent, according to Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. Son wants to see that tripled by 2020. “The question is how this nation is going to survive after cutting nuclear power,” he said at a government panel meeting on June 12.

Complacent Georgia Power and SO, you maybe don’t think he can do it? NTT probably thought that, too:

Continue reading

How long until solar beats gas?

We’ve heard even German coal importers say solar beats coal. How long until clean solar beats dirty natural gas fracking?

Southern Company has already cut energy production from coal in half, from 70 or 80% to 35%. Unfortunately, SO did that mostly by shifting to natural gas. Natural gas produced through “a revolution in shale gas”, commonly known as fracking. Do we want to trade dirty water for clean air?

Unlike Johnson & Johnson and Dell (and Coke and Pepsi and Amazon and and more than a dozen more, including even Wal-Mart), the Southern Company has not cut ties with ALEC and its pro-fracking and anti-solar campaign. Why is the Southern Company betting on a dirty horse?

How long until SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning’s “one day” when renewable energy becomes economical? Sooner than his prediction of next decade, as in two years ago solar crossed nuclear, wind is already at parity with nuclear, and even Southern Company realizes coal doesn’t beat anything anymore.

How long before solar beats natural gas, relegating gas to much-reduced use as a backup for sun and wind power, as John Blackburn already projected in March 2010 can happen in North Carolina?

How long will it take for the sun and the wind, with a little water and even less natural gas, to power the world? How long? Not long.

Because the arc of the solar Moore’s Law is long, but it bends down for price per watt, while the price of fracking, no matter the quakes and dirty water for ever, does not.


Johnson & Johnson and Dell dump ALEC: where’s Southern Company?

J&J and Dell ditched ALEC, for two dozen bailing out of that ship of dubious lobbying. Where's The Southern Company? Still supporting ALEC's pro-fracking and anti-solar campaign?

A week ago Rebeka Wilce reported for PR Watch that Johnson & Johnson 19th Company, 23rd Private Sector Member, to Cut Ties with ALEC. Today Scott Keyes reported for ThinkProgress that Dell Becomes 21st Company To Drop ALEC. So many companies have ditched the corporate-legislative private-public partnership American Legislative Exchange (ALEC) that it's hard to keep count. Yet we still haven't heard from The Southern Company (SO), even as ALEC continues its drive to dismantle incntives for renewable energy and preserve fracking loopholes, and The Southern Company continues expanding use of natural gas (knowing it comes from fracking) while putting off solar and wind until "one day" some time next decade maybe, and (through its subsidiary Georgia Power) actively opposing fixing Georgia legislative hurdles to renewable energy. All that plus wasting Georgia Power customer cash and taxpayer dollars on useless new nukes at Plant Vogtle.

Come on, Southern Company and CEO Thomas A. Fanning: you can do better than that! Turn to the sun and the wind for clean green jobs for community and profit.

If you're a Georgia Power customer and you'd like to help persuade SO, you can pay your Plant Vogtle Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charge in a separate check and write on it what you'd like instead. Even if you're not, it's election season, and every member of the Georgia legislature is running: you can contact your candidate and find out what they're willing to do to get us solar and wind for energy independence, jobs, community, and profit.