Iberdrola SA is offering regulators in New York a list of concessions to try and smooth the path for its $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.
The large Spanish utility first proposed buying Energy East, which has 1.4 million upstate New York customers, last August.
But the New York Public Service Commission, a five-member board, must sign off on the deal.
PSC staffers, who make recommendations to the commissioners, have been negotiating with Iberdrola and Energy East over a deal that would give New York consumers benefits such as rate decreases.
After talks broke down last Wednesday, the case went before an administrative law judge who will make his own recommendation to the PSC. Hearings before the judge, Rafael Epstein, began Monday.
Iberdrola made the concessions to PSC staff Friday in hopes they could “narrow the issues” prior to the hearings.
One of those concessions is to agree to sell all of Energy East’s fossil fuel power plants in New York.
The PSC has been calling on Iberdrola to get out of all power generation in New York, including wind farm projects it already has in place.
Iberdrola says that if it is allowed to remain in the wind farm business, it will commit to spend at least $100 million on new wind projects in the state over the next three years.
Iberdrola also offered $201.6 million in so-called “positive benefit adjustments” for New York customers.
PSC spokesman James Denn said the hearing was held Monday in Albany as scheduled and is expected to continue today.
By Larry Rulison
18 March 2008
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