Sempra reported $485 million in earnings this third quarter, or $1.53 per share, compared to losses of $648 million or -$2.03 per share in the same quarter in 2021.
Sempra utility San Diego Gas & Electric’s latest earnings were $271 million, compared to $205 million in the same quarter last year.
Southern California Gas saw a loss of $82 million with the payout of $101 million in after tax dollars this quarter for the litigation over the massive Aliso Canyon storage field methane leak in late 2015 to early 2016. In the third quarter of 2021, it paid out $1.13 billion for the leak, suffering a loss of $1.13 billion.
Sempra’s Texas utility Oncor also saw positive earnings, totaling $256 million compared to $206 million the year before. Oncor also saw a 14,000 increase in residential customers, Sempra CEO Jeff Martin told analysts Nov. 3.
SDG&E and SoCalGas seek revenue increases in their 2023-25 cost of capital, and 2024 general rate cases pending before the California Public Utilities Commission.
The same day Sempra released its third quarter earnings, the CPUC approved a revised 2022 cost of capital to avoid a drop in the SDG&E’s revenue because of losses said to arise from the pandemic in 2021. SDG&E’s return on equity will be 10.2 % instead of 9.62% this year.
Hydrogen a strategic priority
“We are very bullish in hydrogen,” Martin told financial analysts. That includes blending hydrogen in natural gas pipelines, and producing both green and blue hydrogen, with the latter made from natural gas and the emissions captured.
SoCalGas is a partner in the multiparty HyDeal Los Angeles that is working to advance renewably-produced hydrogen by driving the cost down from several dollars a kilogram to $1.50/kg a kilogram by 2030.
Last month, the two California Sempra utilities and Southwest Gas filed a joint application to the CPUC to conduct hydrogen blending projects in collaboration with the Universities of California at Irvine and San Diego. If successful, this approach would reduce costs and curb carbon emissions. Also in the works are other renewable gas projects, microgrid deployments and energy storage at utility substations. According to SDG&E, it has 100 MW of storage online and under contract.