U.S. hydro operator NE Energy becomes FirstLight Power

Hydropower operator NE Energy Inc. announced Feb. 8 it changed its name to FirstLight Power Resources Inc.

In addition to the new name, FirstLight said it plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to downtown Hartford, Conn., from Rocky Hill in early spring 2007. The company owns 13 hydroelectric plants totaling about 1,276 MW and other power plants, all in either Connecticut or Massachusetts.

FirstLight President Curt Morgan said the new name builds on the company’s deep roots in low-cost, reliable generation. The company’s hydroelectric plants and 146-MW coal-fired baseload facility provide the first source of power to customers connected to the electric grid, Morgan added.

FirstLight operates 11 conventional hydro stations on the Shetucket and Housatonic rivers in Connecticut and on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts totaling about 167 MW. It also operates the 1,080-MW Northfield Mountain pumped-storage plant in Northfield, Mass., and the 29-MW Rocky River pumped-storage plant in New Milford, Conn.

The power plants previously were owned by Northeast Utilities. Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm, purchased Northeast Utilities’ competitive generation business in November 2006, including assets totaling 1,442 MW, for $1.34 billion. At that time, Energy Capital Partners provisionally named the newly formed company NE Energy Inc. (HNN 11/3/06)

The company has about 235 employees, of which about 70 will be based in the new offices.

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