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Divestiture Moves Forward

Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 1997

New England Electric System has received preliminary proposals from 25 potential buyers for the purchase of its generation business.

The proposals, which were due March 25, are from utility affiliates, independent power producers, and energy companies.

New England Electric System noted that buyers would gain an immediate presence in the regional energy market, which opens to competition in mid-1997 for some Rhode Island customers, and in January 1998 for Massachusetts and New Hampshire customers. The preliminary proposals have been reviewed, and a group has been selected to submit formal and binding bids by the end of June. The finalists were chosen based on an assessment of which bids would most reduce the stranded cost access charges to be paid by customers.

Bids will be requested for the following three options: 1) non-nuclear generation as a whole; 2) fossil fuel plants together with the purchased power contracts; and 3) conventional hydroelectric plants and the Bear Swamp pumped storage hydro facility. New England Electric System hopes to announce a purchase and sale agreement by mid-year. (em LB

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