Report: Dominion aims to sell pair of gas-fired plants for $1.5B
- Dominion Energy is preparing to sell two gas-fired power plants in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to a report by Bloomberg News based on conversations with people familiar with the potential deal.
- The company is reportedly considering the sale of its Fairless and Manchester Street power plants, with a price tag of around $1.5 billion. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is helping Dominion arrange the sale.
- Dominion would use the proceeds to pay down debt. It's also working to raise $8 billion by 2020, in part through the sale of non-core assets, according to an investor presentation last month.
Dominion wants to improve its balance sheet and, as many others in the sector have done, it's looking to reduce its exposure to power markets along the way. The Fairless Power Station in Pennsylvania has a capacity of 1.2 GW; the Manchester Street Power Station in Rhode Island has a capacity of 450 MW.
The company previously shed merchant generation, selling the Brayton Point coal plant to private equity firm Energy Capital Partners in 2013, along with two other plants.
The June investor presentation said Dominion was "taking aggressive steps" to support its credit profile. Those could include $1 billion to $1.5 billion in asset sales, with possible assets including the Blue Racer Midstream gas company and 1.7 GW in fossil fuel merchant plants.
But, while the utility would shed merchant plants to reduce debt, it is working to construct other gas-fired plants, along with renewables, in its regulated markets. In an integrated resource plan filed with Virginia regulators this year, the company indicated it wants to build eight new gas-fired plants capable of generating 3.66 GW by 2033.
Along with gas, the utility is looking to grow its renewables resources.
Dominion's Virginia IRP said projections for solar generation have grown by almost 50% since the previous forecast in 2017, and the company's Virginia solar fleet could expand by at least 4,720 megawatts of capacity in the next 15 years — a nearly 50% increase over last year's 3,200 MW forecast.
Follow Robert Walton on Twitter