CBJ gets Safeguard Commitments in the Avista and Hydro One Deal

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - The City and Borough of Juneau recently agreed to intervene in the deal involving Avista Corporation and Hydro One; CBJ is now reporting that agreements have been listed out that should make residents feel more comfortable with the deal.

    This agreement puts up reasonable safeguards for the Juneau community when it comes to power supply, customer rates, stability of the local utility and local control. Alaska Electric Light & Power have stated in the past that the sale would not increase rates due to the Regulator Commission of Alaska (RCA).

    “Energy planning is a big deal. The agreement clearly lays out a detailed process and it gives the public the ability to know and understand AEL&P’s infrastructure planning. I think the public will greatly appreciate the opportunity to become more informed,” CBJ City Manager Rorie Watt said.

    In November 2017, Avista and Hydro One filed a joint application with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska for the transfer of control of AEL&P. To protect the public’s interests, the Juneau Assembly petitioned in February to intervene in the RCA process, which the RCA granted. The negotiated agreement successfully achieves the objectives of CBJ’s intervention and provides added protection to CBJ residents.

    CBJ’s attorney Kirk Gibson is confident that the benefits and safeguards achieved through the agreement “provide for the best possible outcome” and believes the agreement surpasses what the CBJ would get through the RCA process. The stipulations agreed upon includes:

    • Avista and Hydro One agree that the transfer of AEL&P will not change or alter the current status or ownership of the Snettisham Hydroelectric Facility. No action can be taken regarding the facility without notifying the CBJ and going through the RCA process.
    • AEL&P has developed a clear 15-step interconnection review process applicable to proposed energy developers before gaining access to AEL&P’s transmission/distribution system. This information has not been readily accessible to the public before.
    • A comprehensive review of AEL&P’s utility planning process, including current and projected customer electric loads, utility resources and utility operations, will be presented to the Juneau public every two years starting in 2020.
    • Avista and Hydro One have agreed to a list of 39 commitments regarding regulation, customer rates, governance, business operation and local/community involvement that the CBJ requested.
    • The $1 million rate credit that was originally proposed to span 10 years will now be allocated over a 5-year period, thereby creating a more immediate public benefit.

    It was stated in the press release that documents pertaining to the agreement will be made available soon for public review.

     

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