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Utility parent Eversource reported a sharp decrease in its second-quarter profits, thanks to its recent decision to abandon a major transmission project it had long pursued in New Hampshire.
The company, which is dually headquartered in Hartford and Boston, reported net income of $31.5 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, down from $242.8 million, or 76 cents, in the year-ago quarter.
The culprit was an after-tax impairment charge of $204.4 million related to Northern Pass, a proposed 192-mile transmission line to bring hydropower from Canada to the region. Eversource had pursued the project for years, investing approximately $318 million.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court last month denied Eversource’s appeal related to a previous project denial by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee.
Eversource disclosed to investors on July 25 that it no longer viewed the construction of Northern Pass as probable and that it would face an impairment charge.
“The Northern Pass impairment was a difficult step for us to take given the economic and environmental benefits the project could have brought to New England, but it does not take away from the fact that 2019 has been very positive for Eversource,” CEO Jim Judge said in a statement Thursday. “Our operational, safety, customer service and ongoing financial results are all ahead of plan, and we have had extremely strong investor interest in both our equity and long-term debt issuances, providing benefits to both our customers and shareholders.”
Eversource’s operating revenue was up slightly in the recent quarter, from $1.85 billion to $1.88 billion.
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