Southern Co. and natural gas firm AGL Resources won approval for their merger in the state of Maryland, according to reports.
The companies say they expect to close the merger in the second half of 2016.
This development comes after the Southern/AGL merger won approval from regulators in Georgia.
When completed, the combination of Southern Co. and AGL Resources would unite two Georgia-based energy companies and is expected to create the second-largest utility company in the U.S. by customer base, bringing together: 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies providing service to about 9 million customers; operations of nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; more than 80,000 miles of gas pipelines; and about 44,000 MW of electricity generating capacity.
Southern Co. is already one of the largest consumers of natural gas in America, with that fuel accounting for nearly half of the electricity generated to serve customers' needs.
"A natural extension of the company's commitment to finding real solutions for America's energy future, Southern Co.'s pending acquisition of AGL Resources will help address one of the key challenges facing the energy industry — developing the infrastructure necessary to send low-priced natural gas to areas where it is increasingly needed," according to a Southern Co. press release.