FERC okays sale of three Illinois gas plants by Ameren to Rockland

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 26 signed off on the sale of three Ameren (NYSE: AEE) gas-fired facilities in Illinois to Rockland Capital LLC.

This sale is a companion to a deal, due to close in December, for Ameren to sell its coal plants in Illinois to Dynegy (NYSE: DYN). Ameren is cutting back its merchant power operations to focus on its Ameren Missouri regulated utility operations.

On Oct. 21, AmerenEnergy Medina Valley Cogen LLC, Gibson City Energy Center LLC, Grand Tower Energy Center LLC and Elgin Energy Center LLC applied for commission authorization for Gibson City Energy Center, Grand Tower Energy Center and Elgin Energy Center to purchase from Medina Valley the Elgin, Gibson City, and Grand Tower plants.

Medina Valley, authorized to sell power at market-based rates, is the owner of the energy centers. The Elgin simple-cycle plant is a 460-MW facility located in the control area of the PJM Interconnection region. The Gibson City (simple-cycle) and Grand Tower (combined-cycle) plants are 228-MW and 518-MW facilities, respectively, located in the control area of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

The acquiring companies are directly owned by Main Line Generation LLC, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Rockland Power Partners II LP. The applicants stated that acquirers currently do not own or control any electric assets, but are affiliated with electric generation assets through their affiliate Rockland Power Partners LP. Rockland Power Partners II and Rockland Power Partners are private equity funds that are under the common control of Rockland Capital LLC.

Within the PJM control area, Rockland Power Partners holds equity interests in entities that, in turn, own exempt wholesale generators (EWGs) that generate a total capacity of about 808 MW. It holds an indirect 75% interest in Eagle Point Power Generation LLC, owner of a 225-MW facility located in Westville, N.J. Also within that control area, Rockland Power Partners wholly owns Hazle Spindle LLC, owner of a 20-MW facility located in Hazle Township, Pa. Affiliate Rockland Capital Energy Investments LLC holds a nominal interest in RC Cape May, owner of a 475.6-MW facility known as B.L. England located in Cape May County, N.J. Lastly, and prospectively, an affiliate or affiliates will purchase all of the interests in Forked River Power LLC, owner of an 87-MW facility located in Ocean County, N.J.

Within the MISO control area, Rockland Power Partners holds equity interests in Lakeswind Power Partners LLC, developer of a 48-MW wind facility in Clay, Becker and Otter Tail counties, Minn. Lakeswind expects completion of this facility near the end of 2013 and has filed for market-based rate authorization in anticipation of the commercial date.

Notable is that Rockland Capital separately has a deal to buy from Canada-based Maxim Power Corp. (TSX: MXG) five gas-fired power plants in the U.S. Rockland Capital is a private equity firm founded in 2003. It is focused on the acquisition, optimization and development of companies and projects in the North American power sector.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.