PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — The Narragansett Electric Company, which serves electric and natural gas customers in Rhode Island, has been sold to Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. for $5.3 billion.
Narragansett’s parent company, National Grid, announced the deal Thursday. PPL is based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and provides utility services in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and the United Kingdom.
“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,” Vincent Sorgi, PPL president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Narragansett Electric has about 780,000 customers in Rhode Island, according to a National Grid statement. It is regulated by the R.I. Public Utilities Commission.
The Narragansett Electric sale is expected to close within a year, and the deal must be approved by regulators and National Grid shareholders. As part of the transaction, National Grid is acquiring PPL’s Western Power Distribution, which services the U.K.
The companies said “a majority” of National Grid’s employees in Rhode Island will stay on with PPL, including all union members who belong to UWUA Local 310, UWUA Local 310B and USW Local 12431.
U.K.-based National Grid has had a footprint in Rhode Island since 2000, when it acquired Narragansett Electric parent company New England Electric System. In 2006, National Grid acquired Rhode Island’s gas distribution network from New England Gas Co., as well.
Narragansett Electric was founded in Rhode Island in 1884, in the early days of electricity.
PPL’s takeover comes as Rhode Island leaders double down on efforts to increase the use of renewable energy in the state.
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio on Wednesday announced a bill that would require 100% of the state’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2030, codifying a goal that former Gov. Gina Raimondo had set out in an executive order last year.
“We’re eager to play a key role in advancing Rhode Island’s decarbonization goals,” Sorgi said. “We believe our experience in automating electricity networks can help the state achieve its target of 100% renewable energy by 2030. 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.”
More information is available at nationalgrid.com/investors/repositioningtheportfolio.
Ted Nesi contributed to this report.