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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

OPDC And Hydro One To Refile Application With OEB

Orillia | by Ken Hashizume  

City of Orillia says the OEB did not rule on a key element of the deal.

The City of Orillia is going to take another stab at getting the Ontario Energy Board to approve the sale of Orillia Power Distribution Corporation (OPDC) to Hydro One.

Council was given a report that explained that the refiling process was part of a legally-binding agreement in the transaction.

The report was received as information at a special Council meeting yesterday (TUE)."

The OEB ruled in April that the deal was not approved citing the uncertainty of distribution rates beyond 2030.

The threshold hearing to determine whether the appeal would be heard was denied.

Mayor Steve Clarke says the OEB failed to rule on a key element of the deal, which is a commitment from Hydro One that in year 11, after 10 years of lower distribution rates with Hydro One,  Orillia customers would be no worse off than if Orillia Power had been retained.

Clarke says it's in the best interest of Orillia to pursue every avenue possible to complete a deal that offers $200 to $300 million in near-term economic impact in the community and lower distribution rates for 10-plus years.

The City says if the deal falls through,  OPDC will be required to file for a distribution rate increase with the OEB at least twice over the next 10 year period, and it's estimated distribution rates will increase by an average annual rate of 2-4% over the next decade.

The City agreed to sell the distribution arm of Orillia Power to Hydro One as part of a deal to have the utility build an advance technology hub in the Horne Business Park in West Orillia.


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