NV Energy sells Tahoe power grid

LAKE TAHOE " The newly created company that purchased the electric grid serving the California side of the Lake Tahoe region expects to establish a headquarters office in the region.

California Pacific Electric Co. also expects to offer employment to the approximately 50 people who currently work for the system.

The company " dubbed Calpeco " said last week it struck a deal to buy the Lake Tahoe-area grid from NV Energy Inc. for about $116 million. Assuming state and federal regulators give their approval, the sale is expected to be completed in 2010.

Calpeco is owned by Emerca Inc., a power company headquartered at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Algonquin Power Income Fund of Oakville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.

NV Energy, the company formed after the merger of Sierra Pacific and Nevada Power, began shopping the power grid to potential buyers in early 2008. The Nevada utility, which has served the Lake Tahoe area for more than 100 years, said it wants to focus its attention on Nevada operations.

The grid to be purchased by Calpeco includes about 95 miles of electric distribution lines that extend across seven counties from Portola to Markleeville. Most of the grid's 46,000 customers are on the California side of Lake Tahoe. Of the customers, 88 percent are residential.

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