Ford sells St. Paul hydro plant to Canadian firmby Marisa Helms, Minnesota Public Radio
The Ford Motor Co. is selling its hydro power plant in St. Paul to a Canadian company, bypassing several local bidders.
St. Paul, Minn. — Brookfield Power of Quebec has agreed to buy Ford's Mississippi River hydro plant for an undisclosed amount. The facility provides power to Ford's assembly plant, which the company will shut down next year.
Brookfield won out over local bidders including Xcel Energy, St. Paul's District Energy, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
Ford spokeswoman Stephanie Denby says Brookfield Power best met Ford's requirements.
"It was really a combination of a purchaser who had the experience to continue to operate and manage the facility, the ability to get the license transferred, and of course, price was a consideration as well," says Denby.
Bidders had earlier estimated the market value of the St. Paul hydro plant as between $30 million and $50 million. Its generating capacity is between 13 and 18 megawatts; that's roughly enough to power more than 10,000 homes.
Ford finished construction of the plant in 1924 and has upgraded it in recent years. Its license with the federal government was renewed in 2004, so it won't be up for regulatory renewal until 2034, adding to its desirability.
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2007, and must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.