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Eversource cuts deal to sell power plants

October 12. 2017 10:49AM
COURTESY Eversource's largest power plant is its coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow. The utility announced a deal Thursday to sell about a dozen power generation facilities, completing electric deregulation in New Hampshire. 

Staff Report

MANCHESTER - Eversource New Hampshire announced Thursday a deal to sell about a dozen power generation facilities split among two buyers, completing electric deregulation in New Hampshire.

“Our generation plants have proven valuable to New Hampshire customers for many years, especially during times of extreme cold or heat when additional sources of power have been needed to help meet demand,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan.

“Now, we will join other utilities across New England in obtaining energy for our customers from the competitive regional wholesale energy market,” he said. “Importantly, the announced transactions honor commitments made to employees and municipalities where facilities are located to ensure a smooth transition.”

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission in 2016 established the power plant auction process, which is being managed by J.P. Morgan. Under the proposed sales, which must be reviewed and approved by the PUC, Eversource's three large fossil generation facilities and two remote combustion turbines will be purchased by Granite Shore Power LLC, a newly-formed 50-50 partnership between Atlas Holdings of Greenwich, Conn., and Castleton Commodities International of Stamford, Conn., for a price of $175 million.

The company's nine hydroelectric facilities will be acquired by Hull Street Energy LLC and affiliates, an electric industry-focused private equity firm based in Bethesda, Md., for $83 million.

As part of the proposed purchase agreements, the new owners must keep the plants in service for at least 18 months and must honor a comprehensive employee benefits package established by Eversource and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Eversource will provide three years of tax stabilization payments to communities to the extent a power plant is sold for less than its assessed value.

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