Ratepayers lose in Eversource deal
To the editor:
Your analysis of the settlement deal (“Behind the big deal,” July 23-Aug. 4 NH Business Review) was short on analysis of the impacts on Eversource ratepayers. The deal puts the cost of the scrubber at $415 million and counting on the ratepayers, plus $130 million of over market costs of the Berlin PPA on ratepayers, plus the mercury and PCB cleanup costs at Schiller estimated at $30 million and likely much more than that, plus the other labor, tax and other costs described in the settlement papers. The rub here is that the scrubber did not go operational until late 2011 and a little over two years later, Merrimack Station was appraised at $10 million by LaCapra, the PUC-commissioned appraiser, not an example of prudent company management. The “cost savings” promoted as the impetus for the deal is smoke. The “savings” assume that the fossil facilities remain operational out into the future and that Eversource continues to collect its 9.5+ percent return (out of which comes the $25 million in “givebacks”). The assumption, of course, is illusory because it was Eversource that decided that the plants were no longer economic to operate and it wanted to divest them. The politicians who promoted this deal, Hassan, Bradley and Feltes, did the ratepayers no favors. Ratepayers will be paying these “stranded” costs” for years.
Arthur B. Cunningham