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Emera eyes share of green power contracts in New England

Huskilson told analysts that Emera Maine is working with Central Maine Power Co. on a proposed transmission upgrade that would allow more wind power and other energy to be transported from northern Maine and Canada.

Emera Inc. could be involved in more than one bid to supply renewable energy to southern New England, CEO Chris Huskilson said Tuesday.

Huskilson told analysts that Emera Maine is working with Central Maine Power Co. on a proposed transmission upgrade that would allow more wind power and other energy to be transported from northern Maine and Canada.

“They may well be participating with a number of different producers,” the CEO said during a conference call to discuss second-quarter results.

The Halifax-based parent company is also talking to partners in Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador Crown corporation Nalcor Energy. That proposal would see surplus hydro power from Muskrat Falls, now under construction in Labrador, be exported to southern New England, Huskilson said. The plan could also include wind energy, he added.

The states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are expected to issue a tender call for renewable energy later this year. The request for proposals, originally expected to be for 2.3 terawatt hours of electricity, has been increased to 5.1 terawatt hours, the CEO said.

Massachusetts is also looking at legislating further renewable requirements, he said.

Huskilson said the tri-state tender call isn’t large enough to help get the Northeast Energy Link, a transmission project in which Emera is a partner, off the ground. The underground line between Maine and Massachusetts needs a contract to supply at least eight terawatt hours of power to be viable, he said.

But plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region starting in 2020 are enough to advance the Maine subsidiary’s plan.

“We would certainly see this investment happening in the later part of this decade,” Huskilson said.

Meanwhile, changes in the value of natural gas and electricity supply contracts lowered Emera second-quarter net earnings by $14.5 million. The Halifax company reported profit of $10 million, or seven cents per share, for the period.

That’s down from $24.5 million, or 17 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2014.

Nova Scotia Power’s parent company said net income was affected by after-tax asset valuation changes of $38 million. The after-tax loss was $19.7 million a year earlier.

At the same time, higher contributions from the Maine utility, coupled with the lower loonie, helped boost Emera’s adjusted net income by 8.6 per cent. Adjusted profit was $48 million, or 33 cents per share, for the second quarter. That’s up from $44.2 million, or 31 cents per share, in 2014.

The gains in the Maine business and currency exchange were partially offset by a $5.4-million after-tax cost tied to recent restructuring at Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd., Emera said.

Nova Scotia Power added $16.9 million to second-quarter adjusted earnings. That’s $200,000 less than last year.

Huskilson said the company’s results continue to be solid, with continued growth in adjusted earnings.

Emera’s board approved a 19 per cent dividend hike in November. The dividend on common shares will reach $1.90 this fall.


Source: http://thechronicleherald.c...

AUG 12 2015
https://www.windaction.org/posts/43203-emera-eyes-share-of-green-power-contracts-in-new-england
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