In a move aimed at diversifying the company's northeastern U.S. power generation portfolio, Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Emera Inc. reported Wednesday that it has entered into a $541 million agreement to purchase three combined-cycle gas-fired electricity generating facilities in New England from Capital Power Corp.

The transaction, which would add 1,050 MW to Emera's generation capacity in the Northeast, includes the Bridgeport Energy facility (520 MW) in Bridgeport, CT; Tiverton Power (265 MW) in Tiverton, RI; and Rumford Power (265 MW) in Rumford, ME.

"These are quality assets, in a region Emera knows very well, having operated in the New England gas and electricity markets for more than a decade," said Emera CEO Chris Huskilson. "Adding gas generation to our existing generation portfolio of wind and hydro assets in the Northeast has been a strategic objective for Emera."

The company said it plans to finance the purchase with cash and short term credit resources on closing and ultimately expects to finance the acquisition with a combination of debt and equity. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

"Emera is making this investment for the longterm," said Huskilson. "The earnings profile is modest in the early years, but we have acquired these facilities at a fair price and we expect their value will increase over time, as we optimize within our portfolio, as older, less efficient assets in the region are retired, and more intermittent renewable generation is added to the system."

 Emera, which is focused on investing in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as gas transmission and utility energy services, has assets throughout northeastern North America and in three Caribbean countries. As part of the company's push into the New England energy market, Emera has a 50% joint venture interest in Bear Swamp, a hydroelectric facility in Massachusetts. It has also acquired a 12.9% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and has built the Brunswick Pipeline. Both transport natural gas to customers in Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States.