Dominion Energy has reported operating earnings for the fourth quarter, were $592m, compared with operating earnings of $585m for the same period in 2017. The difference was primarily attributable to lower renewable energy investment tax credits, higher storm restoration expense and higher interest expense partially offset by the Cove Point liquefaction project and the benefit of tax reform.
Operating earnings for 2018 were $2.7bn compared with $2.3bn for the same period in 2017. The difference was primarily attributable to the Cove Point liquefaction project, the benefit of tax reform, favourable weather in its regulated service territory, growth projects, and one fewer refuelling outage at Millstone Power Station, partially offset by lower renewable energy investment tax credits, higher storm restoration expense, higher electric capacity expense, higher interest expense and share dilution.
The company reported earnings of $641m in the fourth quarter compared with earnings of $1.3bn for the same period in 2017. Reported earnings for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 were $2.4bn compared with earnings of $3bn for the same period in 2017.
Thomas F. Farrell, II, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our full-year 2018 operating earnings per share grew 12.5 percent compared to 2017 and exceeded our guidance range midpoint. During 2018 we completed several important initiatives that position us for success in 2019 including the commercial in-service of both the Cove Point liquefaction project and the Greensville Power Station, the sale of non-core assets, the reduction of approximately $8bn of parent-level debt, and the improvement of our credit metrics. We also set a company record for safety for the second straight year with a recordable injury rate that is roughly half that of our peers.
“In addition we obtained all regulatory approvals necessary to complete our merger with SCANA which occurred on Jan. 1, 2019. As a result, we added several high-quality businesses to our existing best-in-class portfolio of state regulated businesses. We have created a new operating segment, known as the Southeast Energy Group, that comprises all former SCANA operations. We will continue to build trust with customers, employees, regulators, and elected representatives by being a responsible corporate citizen.
“In less than a year since the Grid Transformation and Security Act became law in Virginia, we have received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for over $1bn of capital investment. This bipartisan law provides a path to a sustainable and reliable energy future in the Commonwealth.
“Finally, on Jan. 28, 2019, we completed the merger of Dominion Energy Midstream Partners into Dominion Energy.”
Atlantic Coast Pipeline update
The company currently expects that construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could recommence on the full route during the third quarter of 2019 with partial in-service in late 2020 and full in-service in early 2021. Based on that schedule, the company now expects the project cost to be between $7bn and $7.5bn. Similarly, the company currently expects the Supply Header project to enter commercial service in late 2020 at a project cost of $650m to $700m.
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