The sale of Avista Corp. (parent company of Juneau’s Alaska Electric Light and Power) to Canadian-owned Hydro One Limited is one step closer to being finalized.
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska approved the joint application after two months of deliberation Monday.
Ferio Pugliese, Hydro One Vice President of Customer Care and Corporate Affairs, said in an emailed statement to the Empire that the Hydro One is pleased to have received approval and that sale is still pending with utility commissions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. Hydro One expects to close those transactions in the second half of this year.
“We look forward to partnering with Avista and Alaska Electric Light and Power as they continue to serve your community,” Pugliese said.
The City and Borough of Juneau intervened in the RCA’s process after appropriating $75,000 to cover legal fees at the Assembly’s Feb. 26 meeting. Intervening in the process allowed the city to have a voice in the matter before the RCA on the sale between Hydro One and Avista. Hydro One sent a formal request to the RCA objecting to the city’s involvement, but RCA denied the request on March 1. During the sale process, members of the public addressed concerns and gave public testimony on a hearing Feb. 27.
One of the main concerns during testimonies of discussion was possibly losing control of the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project. Snettisham is owned by Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) but is managed by AEL&P. Bonds on the hydroelectric project are expected to be paid off around 2034. Once bonds are paid off, AEL&P could buy the facility at a relatively low cost.
The intervening process concluded April 3 with the city and Hydro One reaching an agreement on the deal. Part of the deal included that AEL&P will not change or alter the current status or ownership of the Snettisham Hydroelectric Facility.
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at email@example.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.