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RI BUSINESS

Narragansett Electric Company sold to Pennsylvania company

PPL Corp. agrees to buy the utility service from National Grid, vowing to help in “advancing Rhode Island’s decarbonization goals”

Power transmission lines Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Power transmission lines Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/BloombergChris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

PROVIDENCE — The Narragansett Electric Company, National Grid’s electric and gas business for customers in Rhode Island, will be sold to a Pennsylvania company for an equity value of $3.8 billion, the companies announced Thursday.

PPL Corporation, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is buying Narragansett Electric while also selling its United Kingdom utility business to National Grid. National Grid announced that it will look to sell a majority stake in its National Grid Gas Transmission business in the U.K.

Narragansett Electric is the largest electricity transmission and distribution service provider in Rhode Island, and it is a natural gas distributor in the state, serving some 780,000 customers. PPL has about 2.7 million customers.

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“We expect to leverage our proven track record of operational excellence, award-winning customer service, strong reliability, and cost efficiency to continue to improve service and deliver energy safely, reliably and affordably to Rhode Island families and businesses,” said Vincent Sorgi, PPL’s president and chief executive officer.

The announcement comes as the General Assembly is moving forward on the Act on Climate bill, which would make the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals mandatory and enforceable.

Sorgi said PPL will play a role in “advancing Rhode Island’s decarbonization goals.”

“We believe our experience in automating electricity networks can help the state achieve its target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030,” he said. “And we look forward to being a strong community partner in Rhode Island, something that has been a hallmark of PPL for more than a century.”

National Grid said the majority of Narragansett Electric’s employees will remain with Narragansett Electric as the company transfers ownership to PPL, including all the members of UWUA Local 310, UWUA Local 310B and USW Local 12431.

The purchase of Narragansett Electric is expected to close within a year. It will require regulatory approval, and the transactions must receive the approval of National Grid shareholders.

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“We are proud of our Narragansett Electric colleagues and their success in building a strong, responsible business,” said Badar Khan, president of National Grid U.S. “Narragansett Electric will be joining a team at PPL that remains safety-driven, locally focused, and committed to the communities we serve. We are confident of a seamless transition, uninterrupted service, and ongoing support of our customers and teams.”

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said, “I want to personally thank our colleagues at Narragansett Electric for their hard work, stellar service to customers, and dedication to providing safe and reliable energy to the communities they serve. We are confident in PPL’s ability to continue operating this business in a manner that serves Narragansett Electric’s communities, customers, and stakeholders well.”


Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.