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July 1, 2009 | last updated November 30, 2011 11:25 pm

Five Maine hydro plants sold

A subsidiary of PPL Corp., an Allentown, Pa.-based power company, is selling the bulk of its hydroelectric generating business in Maine to Black Bear Hydro Partners LLC, for $95 million.

The sale affects hydroelectric plants in Ellsworth, Medway, Milford, Orono and Stillwater that produce a total of 23 megawatts of electricity, according to a release from PR Newswire. Black Bear Hydro is an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, a $6.8 billion energy investment firm based in Boston.

The sale does not affect a June 2008 agreement between PPL and the Penobscot River Restoration Trust to sell PPL dams in Veazie, Great Works and Howland to the trust, according to a release from the trust's executive director, Laura Rose Day. The trust plans to remove the Veazie and Great Works dams and bypass the Howland dam to open nearly 1,000 miles of the Penobscot and tributaries to sea-run fish migration. It recently received a $6.1 million federal grant for removal of the Great Works dam, according to the release.

A PPL executive said the Maine assets have been good for the company, but are not core to its generation plans for the Northwest, according to the news service. The sale must get federal and state regulatory approvals. PPL Corp. controls or owns more than 12,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about 4 million customers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom.

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