The Blythe Energy Center, a 520 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Riverside County, is being sold to a Canadian company looking to enter the California market. Alberta, Canada-based AltaGas Utilities, has an agreement in place to purchase the 10-year-old facility and a related 67-mile 230 kV electric transmission line for $515 million from Blythe Energy. Blythe is an affiliate of LS Power, both the seller and purchaser confirmed this week. The facility is directly connected to SoCal Gas and interconnects with Southern California Edison and the California Independent System Operator grid. That\u2019s via a 67-mile line which, according to AltaGas, is capable of transmitting 1,100 MW and has excess capacity to meet future load growth. AltaGas stated the facility would \u201cprovide a significant U.S. geographic footprint for AltaGas\u2019 power business, with opportunities for future growth.\u201d Blythe Energy, which sits on a 76-acre site in the city of Blythe, began commercial operation in 2003. It consists of two 170 MW combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators and a 180 MW steam turbine generator. \u201cThe addition of natural gas-fired power generation to our energy infrastructure portfolio in the U.S. provides another platform for growth,\u201d according to AltaGas chief executive officer David Cornhill. Equity investor LS Power bought Blythe Energy from a subsidiary of NextEra in November 2011. Although LS Power had been the owner, NextEra has continued to operate the facility under a contract, according to NextEra spokesperson Steve Stengel. The operations contract expires in November 2016. The facility also has a power purchase agreement in place with Southern California Edison that runs to July 2020, considered a nice asset by the company, Cornhill said \u201cThe power purchase agreement provides stable earnings and cash flow and with the infrastructure in place today,\u201d he said. AltaGas, which is based in Calgary and has a satellite office in Vancouver, British Columbia, is an energy infrastructure business that has various natural gas, power and regulated utility holdings in western and central Canada, and focuses mainly on renewable energy sources. The Calgary-based company currently owns and operates 54 MW of gas-fired capacity and 353 MW of coal-fired capacity in Alberta. It also has renewable power plants in its generating portfolio in the U.S. and British Columbia. LS Power stated it expects the sale to AltaGas to close sometime during the second quarter of the year.