Posted: Sep 26, 2013 3:55 PM by MTN News
NorthWestern Energy announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 11 hydroelectric facilities, one storage reservoir, and related assets from PPL Montana for $900 million.
PPL spokesman David Hoffman says the sale will make a nice addition to NorthWestern's generation portfolio:
"$900 million really just presents an attractive offer and value for these assets to our shareholders," Hoffman said in an interview with MTN News.
A press release from NorthWestern Energy says that the facilities are located in two separate river basins, covering both sides of the Continental Divide
In a press release, NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe said, "This is a unique opportunity to acquire hydroelectric facilities dedicated to serving our Montana customers for generations to come. These facilities were originally built as part of the integrated system that we own today and complement our existing set of supply resources. The addition of Montana-regulated, clean, sustainable and reliable hydro power will provide supply diversity to our portfolio and will reduce risks associated with variable fuel prices."
The transaction is expected to allow NorthWestern to reduce its reliance on third-party power purchase agreements and spot market purchases, more closely matching NorthWestern's electric generation resources with forecasted customer demand.
When the deal is finalized, about half of NorthWestern Energy total energy needs in Montana would be met with hydro and wind generation.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Montana Public Service Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and several other state and federal agencies.
Pending regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014.
From the PPL Montana website:
PPL Montana owns and operates 11 hydroelectric stations along the Missouri, Flathead, Clark Fork, and Madison rivers and Rosebud Creek. The capacity at these stations is 604 megawatts.
Along with its western marketing and trading business, PPL's Montana operations employ about 500 people at its facilities throughout the state with offices in Billings, Butte and Helena.