Alcoa to sell hydropower project to Brookfield

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:00am EDT
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(Reuters) - Aluminum company Alcoa Inc said on Friday it will sell its Tapoco hydroelectric project in Tennessee and North Carolina to Canada's Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners for $600 million.

Tapoco, a 351-megawatt project located on the Little Tennessee and Cheoah Rivers in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, is operated by Alcoa Power Generating Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa.

The transaction will include the four generating stations and dams, 86 miles of transmission line, and about 14,500 acres of land, Alcoa said. J.P. Morgan advised the company on the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year.

Alcoa stock was up 2.3 percent at $8.71 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Brookfield rose 49 cents to C$28.10 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Tapoco was originally developed by Alcoa to provide power for its aluminum smelting and rolling mill operations in Alcoa, Tennessee. The four dams - Calderwood, Santeetlah, Chilhowee and Cheoah - came into service between 1919 and 1957.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners operates renewable power platforms globally. Its portfolio is primarily hydroelectric, with about 5,000 megawatts of installed capacity.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Bernadette Baum)