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Florida Electric Utility Sells $504 Mln in Bonds

By Munichain News Desk

The Jacksonville Electric Authority issued $503.8 million in bonds to fund operational costs and refund previously issued securities.

The bonds mature between 2024 and 2054, yielding between 2.56% and 4%. They received a rating of AA+ from S&P Global Ratings, Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service, and AA+ from Fitch Ratings.

The rating reflects “JEA’s combined system’s very strong revenue defensibility assessment, strong historical financial performance and very low leverage,” Fitch analysts wrote.

The issuance comes amid rising costs for the electric system. JEA is spending $245 million on nonfuel power purchases, including almost $200 million on nuclear power produced by a plant in Georgia. JEA spent just $65 million on nonfuel purchased power in 2021. The authority has proposed raising rates to contend with higher expenses.

JEA is the largest electric utility in Florida, serving more than one million people in the state’s northeast. The bonds are special, limited obligations of the authority, secured by utility revenue. JEA generated $1.8 billion in operating revenue last fiscal year. 

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $561 million. The price reflected a premium of $59 million and a discount of $2 million. PFM Financial Advisors acted as financial advisor.

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