Business & Finance, North America, Small Hydro

Nine U.S. hydropower plants to be sold by Eversource Energy

Eversource Energy is selling nine hydropower plants as part of an agreement reached with key state officials on March 12.

The agreement is focused on providing customer savings and resolving other related issues currently under review by state regulators, Eversource says. This agreement moves the operation of the Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) plants to competitive markets rather than remaining an ongoing ratepayer obligation, according to a company press release.

The company’s nine hydroelectric power plants are located throughout New Hampshire, with several of them still operating despite being more than a century old. The plants and their approximate capacity [some of these numbers may be outdated, they were not readily available on the Eversource website] are: 16-MW Amoskeag Hydro in Manchester, 8.4-MW Ayers Island in Bristol, 1.1-MW Canaan Hydro in West Stewartstown, 12.3-MW Garvins Falls in Bow, 2.15-MW Gorham Hydro in Gorham, 1.6-MW Hooksett Hydro in Hooksett, 3.5-MW Jackman Hydro in Hillsborough and 15.2-MW Smith Hydro in Berlin.

Eversource also will sell three PNSH fossil-fueled plants.

The buyer must honor existing collective bargaining agreements and must agree to keep the plants in service for at least 18 months following purchase.

The agreement will resolve two ongoing dockets at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission that focus on Eversource’s ownership of power generation and the impact on customers and the competitive energy market.

Upon sale of the plants, Eversource will purchase energy for its New Hampshire customers in the market.

Eversource estimates that in total the agreement, with provisions not included here because they do not involve hydro assets, includes an estimated $300 million in savings over the next five years.

Northeast Utilities announced it had become Eversource Energy on Feb. 2. Subsidiaries of Northeast Utilities include Connecticut Light and Power Company, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, Western Massachusetts Electric Company and Yankee Gas Services Company. Combined, the companies serve more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.