Mitsui Sells Quarter Share In UK Pumped Storage Operator First Hydro

Japanese investment group Mitsui & Co. has sold its minority share in European hydropower project operator First Hydro to Canada’s Brookfield Renewable Partners.

The deal, worth US$44.7 million, gives Brookfield a 25 percent interest in First Hydro, with French utility Engie holding the other 75 percent.

Mitsui said the sale supports its strategic asset plan, with some of the capital earned from the sale having already rolled into the budget for its current operating year that ends in March.

First Hydro, based in London, operates a pair of pumped storage plants in the Snowdonia region in Wales. Included are the 360-MW Ffestiniog, which was refurbished in part beginning in Spring 2006, and the 1.7-GW Dinorwig.

Power generated at the facilities is sold and distributed via the United Kingdom’s National Grid Transco PLC.

Brookfield Renewable Partners, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, has a portfolio of hydro and wind facilities in North America, Colombia, Brazil and Europe that totals more than 10,000 MW of installed capacity. The company announced earlier this month it had issued its inaugural green bond, secured against the 380-MW White Pine portfolio in Maine.

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