Southern to expand distributed solar footprint with PowerSecure acquisition
- Southern Co. completed the acquisition of PowerSecure International this week, closing the $425 million deal which aims to spread Southern's influence in the distributed energy space, PV Magazine reports.
- Southern said the the deal will allow it to leverage PowerSecure's "unique expertise to help meet customers' energy needs using advanced technologies."
- The deal is another sign of Southern's attempts to grow outside of the traditional electric utility business model. Last year, the company announced a $12 billion bid for AGL Resources, a natural gas provider, as well as a plan to offer rooftop solar installations through an unregulated subsidiary in Georgia.
Southern Co. has seen the writing on the wall, and in the last year has moved quickly to reposition itself outside of the regulated utility space.
"For more than a century, the Southern Company system has provided quality service by generating and delivering affordable, reliable electricity to the customer's meter," Southern Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Fanning said in a statement. "Today we are thrilled to draw on PowerSecure's nationally recognized expertise to deliver even greater customer value by developing innovative technologies on the other side of the meter."
PowerSecure, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern, is a "premier provider of distributed infrastructure," the company said, primarily targeting commercial and industrial customers.Southern owns utilities in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and the company is looking to expand its reach.
"Recognizing that these technologies typically receive highest demand in areas outside of the Southeast – where there is greater opportunity to improve electric reliability, price and customer service – this acquisition positions Southern Company to advance distributed infrastructure development across the U.S.," the company said.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves aimed at diversifying Southern's impact. Last month, Georgia regulators approved the acquisition of AGL. And the company will offer rooftop solar to customers in that state as well.
"If somebody wants to buy distributed generation, I want to sell it to 'em," Fanning previously said.
As for PowerSecure, the company's stock has ceased trading. Shareholders received $18.75/share, and the company, including its management team and corporate headquarters, will continue to be based in Wake Forest, N.C.
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