Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. has seen a high level of interest in PSEG Power LLC's non-nuclear generation fleet even though the official bidding process has not yet begun, according to the company's CEO.
The group, or PSEG, on July 31 announced it is exploring strategic alternatives for more than 6,750 MW of unregulated fossil fuel generation in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Maryland, as well as the 467-MW PSEG Solar Source LLC portfolio.
"We are delighted by the amount of attention it has attracted on the part of potential buyers," PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo said Nov. 10 at the 2020 Virtual Electric Edison Institute Financial Conference. "We are also pleased with the progress we've made in getting ready to take those assets to market. We anticipate a launch of the solar assets actually this month, in the next couple weeks, and the fossil assets later in this year, actually sometime in mid-December."
PSEG expects to receive nonbinding bids in the first quarter of 2021, followed by final bids in the second quarter of 2021.
"We think we can get purchase and sales agreements [finalized] by the middle of next year and then go through the regulatory approval process and closing certainly by the end of next year," Izzo said.
The CEO noted that the company believes the solar assets have reached a scale "that we think that they could provide greater economic value to others."
PSEG, meanwhile, is looking to offload the fossil fleet to reduce "overall earnings volatility" and enhance the company's environmental, social and governance position, Izzo said.
The assets expected to be sold include the 755-MW PSEG Keys Energy Center in Prince George's County, Md., the 576-MW Bridgeport Harbor combined-cycle natural gas plant in Fairfield County, Conn., and the 932-MW Bethlehem Energy Center in Albany County, N.Y. The 1,229-MW Bergen combined-cycle natural gas plant in Bergen County, N.J., and the 1,230-MW Linden combined-cycle natural gas plant in Union County, N.J., also are among the large fossil fuel assets expected to hit the market.
"These assets are high-performing assets," Izzo said. "They are in great capacity markets. They are close to load centers. And we've already had sizable expression of interest in them and are optimistic that as long as the capital markets are sufficiently functioning, we will run a very flexible and robust process and optimize the outcome for ourselves, our shareholders, and the eventual buyers of those assets."