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Report: PSNH Plants Would Be Worth Little On Open Market

LaCapra Associates

An independent assessment commissioned by electrical regulators has released a preliminary report that finds some of Public Service of New Hampshire’s fossil-fired plants hold little market value. The report agrees with what staff at the Public Utilities Commission said last year.

According to La Capra Associates, a Boston based energy consulting firm, all of PSNH’s power plants together would be worth about $225 million on the open market, less than a third of what PSNH says they are worth.

Most of the value comes from hydro-electric plants, and Newington Station which can burn natural gas. The coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow and Schiller Station in Portsmouth – which can burn coal, oil or wood – were estimated to be worth only a fraction of their value on the books.

The report led the staff at the PUC to double down on its 2013 conclusion that over the long term PSNH’s rates will be above the market unless the power plants are sold.

In a statement PSNH responds that the report is trying to predict the future, and is “highly dependent on a number of issues that are uncertain and difficult to predict.”

A bill that would direct regulators to complete an investigation of whether to sell, or possibly close, PSNH’s plants is working its way through the New Hampshire legislature.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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