In a move designed to strengthen its presence in the New England power market, the newly-created European utility GDF Suez has signed an agreement to acquire FirstLight Power Enterprises, which owns 15 power generation facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In addition to providing GDF Suez with expansion opportunities in the region, the purchase also complements GDF Suez’s LNG and gas business in North America.

New England is a core market for GDF Suez, which currently owns six renewable and natural gas fired power generation plants in the region. It also sells electricity to large commercial and industrial consumers and markets natural gas to nearly every gas utility in the region through its LNG business.

FirstLight’s portfolio consists primarily of pumped storage and traditional hydropower facilities, and it has one natural gas fired peaking plant under construction. In total these plants have a combined capacity of 1538 MW.

“FirstLight will complement GDF Suez’s LNG and gas business in North America and will strengthen the Group’s existing power generating assets and retail activities in New England and eastern Canada,” said Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of GDF Suez Energy International. “FirstLight will solidify our presence in a sizeable and growing electricity and gas market.”