Avista requests Idaho PUC approval of proposed merger with Hydro One

Published on September 20, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

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Spokane, Washington-based Avista Corporation recently requested approval from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of its proposed $5.3 billion merger with the Toronto-based Hydro One Limited.

The deal would make Avista a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro One, which is the largest electric utility in the province of Ontario. Avista would retain its current name and continue to operate out of its Spokane headquarters with its current staff and management. Avista would no longer be a publicly traded company and instead have one owner, Hydro One.

The merger would create a utility with more than $25.4 billion in assets, making it one of the largest regulated utilities in North America.

Avista proposed a $31.5 million rate credit be dispersed to Avista’s customers over a 10-year period. Over the long term, purchasing power is expected to increase and costs associated with the cost of efficiencies would likely decrease.

The merger would allow Avista customers to “receive the benefits of scale … while also avoiding the risk of a potential subsequent acquisition by another party that may not share Avista’s culture and values,” Avista’s application said.

The PUC will now evaluate the proposal to ensure that it would not result in increased rates, Hydro One will operate and maintain the transferred property in the public service and that the merger is in the public interest.

Washington State, Oregon, Montana and Alaska, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States must also approve the merger.

The companies requested a decision by mid-August 2018.