The state Public Utilities Commission has approved the $258 million sale of Eversource's New Hampshire power plants to two buyers.
It caps the years-long process of deregulating the state's energy industry, with this sale spanning the past two years.
New Hampshire is the last New England state where the same company – Eversource – owns the power plants, and the delivery system for the electricity they generate. Selling off the plants is called deregulation.
This week, the state approved the sale of Eversource's three fossil fuel-fired plants to Connecticut-based Granite Shore Power for $175 million, and of its nine hydropower stations to a Maryland firm, Hull Street Energy, for $83 million.
State Conservation Law Foundation director Tom Irwin has been involved in sale negotiations since 2015. He said the deal will lower electric rates for consumers, who've been subsidizing less-used power sources such as coal.
"We believe that competition is a good thing, and it will force inefficient, polluting power plants such as these plants to eventually leave the market," Irwin said.
Eversource's buyers must keep the plants running for at least 18 months. The sales also include training and benefits for Eversource workers, and tax stabilization payments for affected towns.