Brookfield acquires hydropower projects in Maine, California

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. has acquired a 70 MW hydroelectric power portfolio in Maine and the remaining 50% interest in the 30-MW Malacha project in California.

The separate, unrelated transactions will be pursued by Brookfield Renewable’s (NYSE: BEP) institutional partners, the Canadian company said.

The Maine portfolio was acquired from affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC and consists of nine projects on the Penobscot, Androscoggin and Union rivers. Brookfield said about 60% of the portfolio’s output is sold into the New England wholesale power market, with the remainder sold under long-term contract to local utilities until 2024 and 2028. The projects also benefit from long-term Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses — most of which expire after 2029, according to Brookfield.

The portfolio adds to an existing 270 MW of cumulative capacity in the same region, including 19 projects acquired from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Brookfield’s acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the Malacha plant on the Pit River in Lassen County, California, marks the company’s second investment after having acquired its initial operating interest in December 2010.

The plant’s output is sold under a fixed-price contract to Pacific Gas and Electric Company until 2028.

“These hydroelectric facilities are highly complementary to our existing portfolio in North America,” Brookfield President and CEO Richard Legault said. “We continue to add high quality assets in this low-price environment, which provides an attractive combination of stable, contracted revenues and strong prospects for long-term cash flow growth.”

The company said the acquisitions will be funded through “available liquidity and available capital” from its institutional partners. Brookfield expects that a portion of the purchase price will be funded with non-recourse, fixed-rate debt.

The transactions are subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, but both are expected to close by the end of the year.

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