AEL&P sale presses ahead

New owner seeks license transfer and waiver

Alaska Electric Light and Power Company Lemon Creek operations center in Juneau. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Canadian electrical firm Hydro One has officially filed a request with state regulators to take over Alaska Electric Light and Power.

 

On Friday, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska reported that Hydro One has filed a request to transfer AEL&P’s operating certificate. Each state-regulated utility in Alaska holds a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, and that certificate is the domain of the RCA.

Hydro One has also requested RCA waive the requirement that it provide an Alaska business license. According to the RCA’s guidelines for transfer, a “foreign corporation” must provide “proof of registration to do business in Alaska.”

Hydro One has requested the waiver for itself and the American subsidiary that will indirectly control AEL&P.

Last week’s public notice is the latest step in a process that began in July, when the largest power company in Ontario announced it would buy the parent company of AEL&P for $5.3 billion.

That parent company, Washington-based Avista, acquired AELP from its Juneau owners in 2013.

“AEL&P’s management, employees, operations, facilities, financing, services, rates, and tariffs will not be affected by the proposed transaction,” Hydro One’s regulatory filing states.

Some Juneau residents have expressed an interest in returning AEL&P to local ownership, but Hydro One has said it does not want to sell.

According to the filing, AEL&P will remain a part of Alaska Energy and Resources Company, which is a subsidiary of Avista. Avista will in turn be a subsidiary of Olympus Equity LLC, a company formed by Hydro One to operate its American property.

“AEL&P operates relatively independently from AERC and Avista, with its own local employees and experienced management team,” the RCA filing states.

The RCA is taking public comments on the waiver request and the certificate transfer. The deadline closes at 5 p.m. Oct. 12. To comment, visit https://rca.alaska.gov/RCAWeb/WhatsNew/PublicNoticesComments.aspx.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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