Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault defends Hydro One’s purchase of U.S. utility

News Jul 27, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says provincial ratepayers will be protected from any costs associated with Hydro One’s proposed $6.7-billion purchase of an American utility.

Those costs could include cleaning up what the Sierra Club says is “dangerous coal ash waste” and a “toxic threat” to the surrounding land and ground water.

Thibeault in an interview while in Hamilton July 27 to tour ARaymond Tinnerman Hamilton Ltd., said there is no “cross contamination” between what Ontario ratepayers and United States ratepayers are responsible for paying.

“It’s all rate regulated,” said Thibeault. “This is not going to have anything to do with the rates in Ontario. Hydro One is seeing this company as a good value company.”

He said when the Ontario Energy Board examines the purchase application Hydro One will submit, the board will ask how it will benefit ratepayers.

“Something that is happening in Montana will have no direct impact on what the Ontario Energy Board will make a decision on and vice-versa,” said Thibeault.

Hydro One signed a deal earlier this month to purchase Avista Corp. , a U.S. energy company, which would create one of the largest regulated utilities in North America.

Avista sells electricity and gas in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Thibeault said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018. Thibeault said that deal still has to be approved by the Avista shareholders, and receive regulatory approval.

“There are five regulators in the western United States that need to review this deal. There are a lot of hurdles they need to go through.”

Ontarians own 40 per cent of Hydro One after selling off 60 per cent of its shares, and has 1.3 million customers in Ontario.

Avista is a part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired plant in western Montana, where about 10 per cent of its electricity is derived from coal. A sprawling coal mine is located near the power plant.

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency reports that the 2,094-megawatt Colstrip Generating Station emits nearly 15 million metric tons of CO2 annually, placing it among the top 20 carbon-producing power plants in the United States.

The Sierra Club has stated in its Beyond Coal Campaign that more than 800 acres of toxic coal ash waste ponds have “created an ever-spreading poisonous plume in the ground water.”

Thibeault said Avista’s part ownership of the Colstrip plant comprises about nine per cent of its overall energy usage, a drop from the 23 per cent in 2000.

“We’ve invested heavily to get off of coal,” said Thibeault, referring to Ontario’s decision to shut down the province’s coal-fired plants in 2014. The Liberals outlawed coal-generated electricity in 2015.

“Everyone else is catching up.”

Thibeault called Avista a “progressive” company, becoming the first energy plant in North American to operate a biomass plant, creating wind energy, and introducing smart meters.

“They will continue to find ways to remove coal,” said Thibeault. “This is where everyone will go.”

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault defends Hydro One’s purchase of U.S. utility

Spokane-based Avista Corp. called 'progressive'

News Jul 27, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says provincial ratepayers will be protected from any costs associated with Hydro One’s proposed $6.7-billion purchase of an American utility.

Those costs could include cleaning up what the Sierra Club says is “dangerous coal ash waste” and a “toxic threat” to the surrounding land and ground water.

Thibeault in an interview while in Hamilton July 27 to tour ARaymond Tinnerman Hamilton Ltd., said there is no “cross contamination” between what Ontario ratepayers and United States ratepayers are responsible for paying.

“It’s all rate regulated,” said Thibeault. “This is not going to have anything to do with the rates in Ontario. Hydro One is seeing this company as a good value company.”

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He said when the Ontario Energy Board examines the purchase application Hydro One will submit, the board will ask how it will benefit ratepayers.

“Something that is happening in Montana will have no direct impact on what the Ontario Energy Board will make a decision on and vice-versa,” said Thibeault.

Hydro One signed a deal earlier this month to purchase Avista Corp. , a U.S. energy company, which would create one of the largest regulated utilities in North America.

Avista sells electricity and gas in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Thibeault said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018. Thibeault said that deal still has to be approved by the Avista shareholders, and receive regulatory approval.

“There are five regulators in the western United States that need to review this deal. There are a lot of hurdles they need to go through.”

Ontarians own 40 per cent of Hydro One after selling off 60 per cent of its shares, and has 1.3 million customers in Ontario.

Avista is a part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired plant in western Montana, where about 10 per cent of its electricity is derived from coal. A sprawling coal mine is located near the power plant.

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency reports that the 2,094-megawatt Colstrip Generating Station emits nearly 15 million metric tons of CO2 annually, placing it among the top 20 carbon-producing power plants in the United States.

The Sierra Club has stated in its Beyond Coal Campaign that more than 800 acres of toxic coal ash waste ponds have “created an ever-spreading poisonous plume in the ground water.”

Thibeault said Avista’s part ownership of the Colstrip plant comprises about nine per cent of its overall energy usage, a drop from the 23 per cent in 2000.

“We’ve invested heavily to get off of coal,” said Thibeault, referring to Ontario’s decision to shut down the province’s coal-fired plants in 2014. The Liberals outlawed coal-generated electricity in 2015.

“Everyone else is catching up.”

Thibeault called Avista a “progressive” company, becoming the first energy plant in North American to operate a biomass plant, creating wind energy, and introducing smart meters.

“They will continue to find ways to remove coal,” said Thibeault. “This is where everyone will go.”

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault defends Hydro One’s purchase of U.S. utility

Spokane-based Avista Corp. called 'progressive'

News Jul 27, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says provincial ratepayers will be protected from any costs associated with Hydro One’s proposed $6.7-billion purchase of an American utility.

Those costs could include cleaning up what the Sierra Club says is “dangerous coal ash waste” and a “toxic threat” to the surrounding land and ground water.

Thibeault in an interview while in Hamilton July 27 to tour ARaymond Tinnerman Hamilton Ltd., said there is no “cross contamination” between what Ontario ratepayers and United States ratepayers are responsible for paying.

“It’s all rate regulated,” said Thibeault. “This is not going to have anything to do with the rates in Ontario. Hydro One is seeing this company as a good value company.”

Related Content

He said when the Ontario Energy Board examines the purchase application Hydro One will submit, the board will ask how it will benefit ratepayers.

“Something that is happening in Montana will have no direct impact on what the Ontario Energy Board will make a decision on and vice-versa,” said Thibeault.

Hydro One signed a deal earlier this month to purchase Avista Corp. , a U.S. energy company, which would create one of the largest regulated utilities in North America.

Avista sells electricity and gas in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Thibeault said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018. Thibeault said that deal still has to be approved by the Avista shareholders, and receive regulatory approval.

“There are five regulators in the western United States that need to review this deal. There are a lot of hurdles they need to go through.”

Ontarians own 40 per cent of Hydro One after selling off 60 per cent of its shares, and has 1.3 million customers in Ontario.

Avista is a part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired plant in western Montana, where about 10 per cent of its electricity is derived from coal. A sprawling coal mine is located near the power plant.

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency reports that the 2,094-megawatt Colstrip Generating Station emits nearly 15 million metric tons of CO2 annually, placing it among the top 20 carbon-producing power plants in the United States.

The Sierra Club has stated in its Beyond Coal Campaign that more than 800 acres of toxic coal ash waste ponds have “created an ever-spreading poisonous plume in the ground water.”

Thibeault said Avista’s part ownership of the Colstrip plant comprises about nine per cent of its overall energy usage, a drop from the 23 per cent in 2000.

“We’ve invested heavily to get off of coal,” said Thibeault, referring to Ontario’s decision to shut down the province’s coal-fired plants in 2014. The Liberals outlawed coal-generated electricity in 2015.

“Everyone else is catching up.”

Thibeault called Avista a “progressive” company, becoming the first energy plant in North American to operate a biomass plant, creating wind energy, and introducing smart meters.

“They will continue to find ways to remove coal,” said Thibeault. “This is where everyone will go.”