Calpine buys Massachusetts power plant for $530 million

HOUSTON — Calpine Corp. announced Monday it will purchase a power plant near Boston from Exelon Corp. for $530 million in a deal that Calpine officials say will help the company expand its footprint in a key region.

The 809 megawatt, natural gas-fired Fore River Generating Station is located in North Weymouth, Mass. about 12 miles southeast of Boston.

It will be the first power plant in Massachusetts for Houston-based Calpine, which primarily has plants in California, Texas, New York and New Jersey.

“With the acquisition of Fore River, we will grow our presence in a region that features favorable fundamentals and a supportive, market-based regulatory philosophy,” said Calpine President and Chief Executive Officer Thad Hill in a statement. “This modern, efficient power plant is dual-fuel capable, making it an excellent fit with our existing, reliable East Region fleet.”

The plant was built in 2003 and can run on natural gas or fuel oil, a petroleum-based product.

Calpine said the deal, which will be funded with cash-on-hand, is expected to close in the fourth quarter pending the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other regulators.

Exelon acquired the plant in 2012 as part of its merger with Constellation Energy.

Exelon officials announced last month on their second-quarter conference call that Fore River would be part of a group of power plants it hoped to sell in its effort to raise at least $1 billion to fund future growth.

The company is in the midst of getting regulatory approval for a $6.8 billion acquisition of Pepco Holdings Inc., a utility serving about 2 million customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.