RCA approves sale of Alaska Electric Light and Power

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Alaska Regulatory Commission approved the joint application filed by Hydro One Limited and Avista Corporation to acquire an indirect controlling interest in AEL&P.

    The RCA received over 100 comments and held a consumer input conference during the review.  The conference was attended by over 100 people.  They received 23 comments during the conference and 30 comments afterward.

    The RCA decision stated 'In evaluating an application to acquire a controlling interest we must determine only whether the public utility, after the acquisition, will remain fit, willing and able to provide the utility service authorized by the certificate.  When determining whether a public utility remains fit, willing, and able, we examine managerial, technical and financial fitness.  Finally, in deciding whether to approve the acquisition of a controlling interest in a public utility holding a certificate, we consider whether the proposed acquisition is consistent with the public interest."

    AEL&P officials said the sale would have little impacts on the day to day operations of the utility.  The company served 17,005 customers in 2017 with a peak load of 79 megawatts.  The company owns 24.9 megawatts in hydro electric generation, 139.49 in diesel generation, and 48 miles of high voltage transmission lines.  They also operate the Snettisham Hydroelectric project.

    The companies have stated that Hydro One’s acquisition of Avista will benefit AEL&P customers through increased opportunities for innovation, research and development, and efficiencies by extending the use of technology, best practices, and business processes over a broader customer base
    and set of infrastructure.

    The RCA said it had received no complaints about electric service provided by AEL&P since they approved Avista's proposal to purchase the utility in 2014.  Hydro One plans to retain the management team at both Avista and AEL&P and said there will be no impacts on operations, employees or facilities.  The RCA found Hydro One was financially fit to provide electric service here.

    The CBJ resolved all issues they had with the proposal in April.  The RCA did set some conditions on the approval.  They include AEL&P’s capital structure will be maintained at approximately the 54% equity and 46% debt levels, there will be no recovery through AEL&P’s rates of the transaction costs or premium associated with Avista’s acquisition of AEL&P and AEL&P or Hydro One’s acquisition of Avista. Costs related to Avista services to AEL&P and costs related to AEL&P services to Avista will be directly assigned and subject to review until such time as a cost allocation between the two utilities has been approved by
    the RCA  AEL&P will continue to operate relatively independently from Avista under the same experienced management team and employees as existed prior
    to Hydro One’s acquisition of Avista.

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