NH governor signs bill allowing Eversource to sell generation fleet
- New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan last week signed SB 221, a bill that allows Eversource Energy to sell its generation assets, the AP reports.
- Under the bill, based on an Eversource agreement from June, the utility would divest its holdings in three fossil fuel plants and nine hydroelectric facilities with more than 1 GW of capacity in total. It would also resolve a number of ongoing regulatory proceedings, including cost recovery questions for pollution abatement technologies.
- Instead of owning plants, Eversource will transition to buying power on the open market, a move it says, along with the sale of the plants, could save ratepayers $300 million.
If the agreement is approved by state utility regulators, Eversouce would divest from all of its remaining generation facilities and buy power solely from the open market. Any stranded costs remaining from the sale will be financed using a "low interest securitization method," according to GenerationHub.
Under the deal, Eversource would forego $25 million in deferred cost recovery stemming from the installation of pollution scrubbing technology on its Merrimack plant. The utility has already recovered all but that amount from the $442 million it spent on the facility.
Eversource is looking to sell its three fossil fuel facilities. Merrimack Station (439 MW) burns coal, Newington Station (400 MW) burns natural gas or oil, and Schiller Station (150 MW) utilizes coal or oil in one unit, and biomass in another. In addition, the company will sell nine hydroelectric facilities with a combined capacity of 69 MW.
Eversource expects regulatory hearings in autumn an a PUC decision by the end of 2015. If that's the case, the plants would go on the market for sale in early 2016.
- Associated Press Hassan signs bill approving sale of ex-PSNH plants
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