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Nalcor says proposed sale in Maine won’t affect access

High voltage power lines are shown in the Mill Creek area near Point Aconi Road. Nova Scotia Power says around 20 incidents of copper wire theft to its equipment was reported in Cape Breton during the month of May.
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Sale of Emera Maine to ENMAX still subject to regulator approvals

Nalcor Energy’s partner on the Muskrat Falls Project, Emera, has announced it plans to sell its assets and operations in Maine to Calgary-based ENMAX Energy Corporation.

The corporate reach of Emera into Maine became a key piece in the development of the Muskrat Falls Project in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nalcor and Emera struck a co-operative agreement including the feed of power to Nova Scotia, but also priority access for Nalcor power into Maine, using Emera-held transmission rights.

On Monday, a spokeswoman with Nalcor Energy said the access continues to be protected, and the planned sale of Emera Maine is, “not related to the rights Nalcor has acquired through its formal agreements with Emera.”

A spokesman for Emera has also confirmed the sale has no impact Nalcor’s access rights.

The agreements tied to the Maritime Link and Muskrat Falls Project specifically grant Nalcor what are commonly known as congestion rights. In 2015, Nalcor Energy Marketing general manager Greg Jones described it as moving from a four-lane to a two-lane highway, with Nalcor power able to get in the express lane.

The Nalcor-Emera agreements cover transmission through New Brunswick (Bayside rights, until their expiry, replaced with equivalent rights or development of new transmission routes). And in New England, the congestion rights were Maine Electric Power Company Inc. (MEPCO) rights. MEPCO is a joint venture of Central Maine Power and Emera Maine.

The first investment for Emera outside of Canada was in Maine. In 2001, the company purchased Bangor Hydro. After an acquisition of Maine Public Services Company in 2010, Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Services Company were merged to created Emera Maine, now poised to be sold.

In a statement issued Monday, Emera president and CEO Scott Balfour said the sale of Emera Maine is to give Emera Inc. greater financial flexibility to fund Emera’s continued growth. Enmax and Emera have valued the deal at US$1.3 billion, including debt.

The sale is subject to conditions and approvals, including from the Maine Public Utilities Commission, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The companies anticipate date of close is late 2019.

Emera has previously announced the sale of its gas generation portfolio in New England.

ashley.fitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

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