Eversource completes $175 million sale of NH fossil fuel plants

Vermont Business Magazine Eversource on Wednesday completed the $175 million sale of its New Hampshire fossil fuel powered generation facilities to Granite Shore Power LLC. After decades of  service to New England customers, Merrimack Station in Bow, Newington Station in Newington, Schiller Station in Portsmouth, and combustion turbines in Groveton and Tamworth will now continue operations under new ownership. The power stations employ a variety of fuel sources, including oil, coal, nautral gas and jet fuel. A deal iin 2016 with the NH Public Utilities Commission allowed Eversource to buy power on the competitive market in exchange for divesting its PSNH legacy fossil fuel and hydro facilities.

Eversource is the former Northeast Utilities, with retail, generation and transmission services across New England. NU acquired Public Service of New Hampshire in 1992. PSNH went bankrupt in 1988.

“Today marks a milestone in the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the Granite State,” noted Eversource NH President Bill Quinlan. “We will soon close on the related sale of our hydroelectric facilities and join other New England utilities by obtaining the energy we need to serve our customers from the competitive regional energy market. Importantly, the sale of our generation facilities honors commitments made to employees and communities where the facilities are located, ensuring a smooth transition.”

The sale of Eversource’s power generation facilities was a component of a comprehensive restructuring and rate stabilization agreement entered into in 2015. The sales were completed in adherence to an auction process established by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), which chose J.P. Morgan as its auction manager. The NHPUC on November 28 approved the sale of the fossil fuel facilities to Granite Shore Power LLC.

Under the sale 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. Moreover, Eversource will provide three years of tax stabilization payments to communities where a power plant may be sold for less than its assessed value.

Consistent with the 2015 settlement agreement, customers will also benefit from Eversource’s agreement to forego recovery of $25 million related to the Merrimack Station emission reduction ‘scrubber,’ and from the financing of remaining stranded costs through the use of securitization bonds. These bonds take advantage of low interest rates. In addition, Eversource has agreed to provide $5 million from its shareholders to establish a Clean Energy Fund. Details regarding the Clean Energy Fund will be established via a collaborative process overseen by the NHPUC and the Office of Strategic Initiatives.

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.

Fossil Assets – 1,130.1 MW total nameplate capacity:

  • Merrimack Station, Bow; Coal/oil; 502.0 total megawatts (MW)
  • Newington Station, Newington; Oil and/or natural gas; 416.0 MW
  • Schiller Station, Portsmouth; Coal/oil/biomass; 171.7 total MW
  • Lost Nation, Groveton; Oil; 18.0 MW
  • White Lake, Tamworth; Jet fuel; 22.4 MW

Hydro Assets – 68.2 MW total nameplate capacity:

  • Amoskeag Hydro, Manchester; 16.0 MW
  • Ayers Island, Bristol; 8.4 MW
  • Canaan Hydro, West Stewartstown; 1.1 MW
  • Eastman Falls, Franklin; 6.4 MW
  • Garvins Falls, Bow; 12.1 MW
  • Gorham Hydro, Gorham; 2.2 MW
  • Hooksett Hydro, Hooksett; 1.6 MW
  • Jackman Hydro, Hillsborough; 3.2 MW
  • Smith Hydro, Berlin; 17.2 MW

Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the top contributor to United Way in New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its more than 8,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.

Source: MANCHESTER, NH (January 10, 2018) - Eversource