Home Posts tagged Eversource Energy
Daily News

BOSTON — Eversource Energy announced it has reached an agreement to purchase the Massachusetts natural-gas assets of Columbia Gas for $1.1 billion from NiSource. The acquisition will bring Columbia Gas operations in Massachusetts under local ownership by the largest energy company in New England.

Columbia Gas currently serves 330,000 natural-gas customers in more than 60 communities in Massachusetts. Eversource has 300,000 natural-gas customers and 1.5 million electric customers in 51 communities across the Commonwealth. Many communities that Columbia Gas serves with natural gas already receive electric service from Eversource.

“Eversource is uniquely positioned to leverage the strengths of our current and future workforce, facilities, gas-supply resources, and business processes to achieve greater operational efficiency, while continuing to deliver on our unwavering commitment to safety and superior service for our customers,” said Eversource Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Judge.

Under the asset-purchase agreement, liabilities related to the September 2018 gas distribution incidents in the Merrimack Valley will remain the responsibility of Columbia Gas’s current parent company, NiSource.

Eversource plans to finance the transaction with a balance of new equity and debt that maintains its credit profile.

“We look forward to working with Columbia Gas to achieve the transaction and ensure a safe and smooth transition of services for customers in Massachusetts,” Judge added.

The transaction will require approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the U.S. Justice Department. Eversource and Columbia Gas intend to engage with key regulatory stakeholders and consumer advocates over the next 30 days to review the investments needed to operate the system, to minimize rate impacts and review key benefits for customers. The parties expect to close the transaction by the end of the third quarter 2020.

Environment and Engineering

Taking the Industry Lead

As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Eversource Energy announced an industry-leading goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030. The energy company plans to achieve this aggressive goal through a series of targeted steps across its operations to reduce carbon emissions while also continuing to support regional economic growth and maintaining safe and reliable service for its approximately 4 million customers.

While the goal to be carbon-neutral is limited to the energy company’s own corporate emissions across all departments and operations, Eversource will continue to work with state leaders to reduce emissions from energy supply for customers in accordance with state and regional regulatory requirements. 

“As New England’s largest utility, we are proud to partner with our states and communities to achieve regional clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals,” said Eversource Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Judge. “Today, we are going one step further by setting a goal for our own operations to help demonstrate that carbon neutrality is achievable.”

With its goal set for 2030, Eversource would become the first investor-owned utility in the nation to be carbon-neutral. In order to achieve this, the energy company will take a series of targeted steps across corporate operations, gas distribution, and electric transmission and distribution. These include reducing energy use by improving the efficiency of its 69 facilities and reducing fleet emissions of its 5,200 vehicles, continuing to enhance the electric transmission and distribution system to reduce line losses, reducing sulfur hexafluoride (a potent greenhouse gas) in gas-insulated electric switchgear, and replacing remaining bare steel and cast-iron natural-gas distribution main lines to improve safety and help prevent methane leaks.

“The business community has an important role to play as we pursue clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals, as environmental sustainability and economic development go hand in hand,” said Dan Moon, president and executive director of the Environmental Business Council of New England. “As one of the nation’s leading energy companies, it’s encouraging that Eversource is proactively setting its own goals and demonstrating its commitment to a cleaner-energy future.”

Eversource has already significantly reduced its own carbon emissions through a series of steps, including the divestiture of all its remaining fossil-generation facilities in 2018. The company is also helping the region in achieving carbon-reduction targets that have been set by state and regional requirements with its clean-energy initiatives, such as the offshore wind partnership with Ørsted, award-winning energy-efficiency programs, solar development, innovative battery-storage projects, and electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure.

“We are excited to set an ambitious goal with our own corporate operations to lead by example,” Judge added. “Today’s news reinforces our position at the forefront of environmental sustainability and builds on our efforts to help our customers and communities reduce their carbon footprint.”