The trustees of the Long Island Power Authority unanimously approved shifting operating control of the authority from National Grid to a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. Thursday.

In June the New York state government approved a plan in which Newark, N.J.-based investor-owned utility PSEG would take over most of the responsibility for providing electricity to Long Island. LIPA would become a holding company, allowing for continued tax-exempt bond issuance.

In the plan nearly half of LIPA's $6.7 billion in debt was to be securitized.

As long as interest rates remain roughly where they are today LIPA now expects that $1 billion to $2 billion is to be refinanced, according to LIPA vice president Kenneth Kane. The bonds will be both taxable and tax-exempt. They are to be sold in the first two weeks of December.

LIPA's senior revenue bonds are rated A-minus by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's and Baa1 by Moody's Investors Service. Standard & Poor's has had LIPA on CreditWatch Negative since early July.

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