Boston Firm To Buy Hydro System On Connecticut, Deerfield Rivers

Nov 2, 2016

A Boston-based investment firm says it will purchase the 13-dam hydroelectric system on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers.

ArcLight Capital Partners announced Tuesday that its affiliate, Great River Hydro, reached an agreement to purchase the 584 megawatt hydro system from TransCanada.

TransCanada announced earlier this year that it wanted to sell the hydroelectric system, along with other east coast power facilities, to help finance an estimated $13 billion deal for a natural gas pipeline.

The state of Vermont considered buying the hydro facilities, but a working group that was put together by the Shumlin administration gave up on the bid after deciding that the state wouldn't be able to finance the purchase.

ArcLight is a private equity firm focused on energy infrastructure. The company has invested about $17 billion in 101 transactions since 2001, according to a press release announcing the hydro deal.

The company didn't release terms of the deal for the hydro system.

The TransCanada hydro system is the largest in New England and includes the 192-megawatt Moore facility near Gilman, as well as dams in Vernon and Bellows Falls.

The Vernon, Bellows Falls and Wilder dams are currently going through a relicensing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and ArcLight says it expects that process to continue without interruption.

The deal includes control of more than 30,000 acres of land, which includes river access points, campgrounds and wildlife areas.

Harriman Reservoir in Wilmington is one of the natural resources included in the hydro deal.
Credit Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

"We are thrilled to expand our renewable footprint by acquiring these premier hydroelectric assets from TransCanada," said Dan Revers, managing partner and co-founder of ArcLight. "New England is a key geography for ArcLight, and we look forward to working with local communities and other constituencies across the region."

The deal between ArcLight and TransCanada is also subject to regulatory approval.

The company says it hopes to complete the deal by the middle of 2017.