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Cape Wind to join utility merger review process  

Credit:  Boston Business Journal - by Kyle Alspach, www.bizjournals.com 21 January 2011 ~~

Cape Wind Associates is among the 16 parties approved to take part in the review process for the proposed utility merger between NStar and Northeast Utilities, according to regulatory filings.

The Boston-based developer, which is seeking to build the Cape Wind offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, is among those that won “intervenor” status from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in the merger review, according to a document from the DPU. Intervenors are allowed to “seek more detailed information about the merger transaction and how it relates to their specific interests,” according to a filing by NStar with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Boston-based NStar and Hartford-based Northeast Utilities hope to form a combined company that would be the largest utility in New England, with an enterprise value of $17.5 billion. The company would supply 3.5 million customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The administration of Gov. Deval Patrick has been pushing for a tougher standard of review for the proposed merger, saying the utilities should have to prove the merger would help the state’s clean energy goals. NStar has been criticized by administration officials for its lack of interest in the Cape Wind project and its decision to focus instead on bringing Canadian hydropower to New England.

Also granted intervenor status are Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley; the state Department of Energy Resources; Conservation Law Foundation; Energy Consumers Alliance of New England; Environment Northeast; Just Energy of Massachusetts Corp.; the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network; Cape Light Compact; the Retail Energy Supply Association; the New England Power Generators Association; NRG Power Marketing LLC; PowerOptions Inc.; Local 369, Utility Workers Union of America; Local 455, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO; and the New England Gas Workers Association.

The evidentiary hearings in the merger review are scheduled to take place from April 6 and April 22.

Source:  Boston Business Journal - by Kyle Alspach, www.bizjournals.com 21 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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