Hydro sale more than just a utility
Franklin County’s connection to Connecticut River hydroelectric power is apparently going to have a Canadian accent. But the hope here is that the new owner of the properties in Gill, Erving, Montague and Northfield understands the value here.
The land and river offer so much more than generating sites for hydroelectricity.
As the region just learned, FirstLight Power Resources, the Houston, Texas-based owner and operator of the Turners Falls Hydroelectric Project and Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project has agreed to sell these and other area properties to PSP Investments, one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers.
The purchase, for $1.2 billion, encompasses a portfolio of hydroelectric assets in Massachusetts and Connecticut. According to a press release from PSP Investments, “They constitute the second largest privately owned hydroelectric portfolio within the well-developed and functional ISO New-England (ISO-NE) power market.”
And the purchase adds these power-generating properties to increase the private equity firm’s infrastructure portfolio, which includes transportation, utilities, telecommunications and oil and gas-related investments.
“The purchased assets are an excellent fit with PSP Investments’ long-term investment horizon and its strategy to leverage industry-specialized platforms, such as H2O power,” said Guthrie Stewart, senior vice president, global head of private investments at PSP Investments.
That kind of thinking should be seen as a good start to this new relationship, particularly since the assets here are more than just the hydroelectric facilities. Beyond buildings, turbines, machinery and cables devoted to power production, the generator’s presence is all intertwined with its placement here in western Massachusetts and its use for enjoying the outdoors.