Environmental group questions Gulf Power sale

Earlier today, Southern Company announced it has entered into agreements to sell Gulf Power Company, Florida City Gas and the entities holding Southern Power’s interests in Plant Oleander and Plant Stanton to NextEra Energy for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6.475 billion. NextEra is the parent company of Florida’s largest investor-owned utility Florida Power & Light (FPL).

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choice, issued this statement in response:

“While Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is still reviewing this deal, it raises concerns that any one monopoly utility would control such a significant percentage of Florida’s energy market. Such consolidation of control may limit competition at a time when we need more and not less.

“Lastly, the Florida Legislature has never authorized the Florida Public Service Commission to review the sale of a utility as to whether it is in the best interest of consumers, so there is no protection of the public’s interests. Because there is a long history of FPL’s influence with policymakers resulting in policy outcomes not in the best interest of consumers and the environment, the impact of this proposal should be closely examined.”