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New Hampton dam part of Eversource's $83 million sale of hydro plants


Union Leader Correspondent

September 16. 2018 7:12PM
The Ayers Island hydroelectric station in New Hampton was among the nine such facilities statewide that Eversource sold at auction last month as part of its push to deregulate the electric market. (BEA LEWIS/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

NEW HAMPTON — The Ayers Island hydroelectric plant has sold for $8,510,000 based on tax stamp sales recorded at the Belknap County Registry of Deeds — about $6.5 million shy of what the town has valued it for tax purposes.

The county will realize 4 percent of the $127,650 tax stamp sale — about $5,500 — with the remainder going to the state.

Eversource announced Aug. 27 that it had finalized the sale of nine hydroelectric facilities including Amoskeag Hydro in Manchester, as part of a two-decade push to deregulate the state’s electric market.

According to the 23-page deed, the sale includes the dam, dam abutments, the intake canal, powerhouse, three generating turbine units and equipment, flowage rights, right of way for access, ingress and egress for personnel, vehicles and equipment and the right to hold back, raise, lower, use and control the water of the Pemigewassett River in the towns of New Hampton, Bristol, Bridgewater and Alexandria.

The property is located off Old Bristol Road at 33 and 24 Public Service Drive.

Eversource also divested itself of Canaan Hydro in West Stewartstown, Eastman Falls Hydro in Franklin, Garvins Falls Hydro in Bow, Gorham Hydro in Gorham, Hooksett Hydro in Hooksett, Jackman Hydro in Hillsborough and Smith Hydro in Berlin. The sales, which totaled $83 million, were auctions approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

The Ayers Island property was purchased by HSE Hydro NH Ayers Island LLC., registered in Delaware according to registry records.

Eversource has said an affiliate of Hull Street Energy now owns the hydroelectric stations. Under the terms of the sale the new owners have agreed to keep the plants online for a minimum of 18 months and must honor an employee benefits package negotiated between Eversource and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

In communities where a power plant sold for less than its assessed value, the utility will provide three years of tax stabilization payments to the affected municipalities.

In January, Eversource completed the sale of its New Hampshire fossil fuel powered generation facilities to Granite Shore Power LLC for $175 million.

Customers who buy energy through Eversource should expect to see lower energy prices by Eversource buying power at a lower price in the wholesale electric market, Eversource said last October when the deals were announced.

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