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NextEra Energy to buy two utilities and 1.4GW power plants from Southern Company for $6.4bn

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NextEra Energy has entered into an agreement with Southern Company to acquire Gulf Power, Florida City Gas and its ownership interests in two power plants located in Florida for nearly $6.475bn.

The acquisition also includes the assumption of approximately $1.4bn of Gulf Power debt.

Gulf Power serves nearly 450,000 customers in eight counties throughout northwest Florida. The utility has about 9,500 miles (15,288km) of power lines and 2,300MW of electric generating capacity.

With 3,700 miles (5,954km) of natural gas pipelines, Florida City Gas serves nearly 110,000 residential and commercial natural-gas customers in Florida’s Miami-Dade, Brevard, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

NextEra Energy chairman and chief executive officer Jim Robo said: “These transactions will provide meaningful benefits for the state of Florida, and Gulf Power and Florida City Gas customers, as well as NextEra Energy shareholders.

“Importantly, these transactions are consistent with our long-standing, disciplined approach of maintaining the strength of our balance sheet and credit ratings, both of which are among the strongest in the industry.”

The two power plants included in the transaction are the Oleander and Stanton natural-gas fueled power generating plants.

Under the agreement, NextEra Energy will buy Southern Company’s 100% stake in 791MW Plant Oleander, a natural-gas fueled, simple-cycle combustion turbine electric generation plant located near Cocoa, Florida.

NextEra Energy will also acquire its 65% stake in Stanton Energy Center, a combined-cycle electric generating unit, with a generating capacity of nearly 660MW, located near Orlando, Florida.

The acquisitions of Gulf Power and stake in the Oleander and Stanton generating plants are subject to receipt of approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

While the acquisition of Florida City Gas is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year, the Gulf Power and natural-gas generating plant acquisitions are anticipated to close in the first half of 2019.

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