OPDC and Hydro One to refile application with Ontario Energy Board

Orillia Power Distribution Corp. (OPDC) and Hydro One are poised to refile an application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

According to a press release issued by the city on Tuesday, the refiled application will seek OEB approval of the sale of OPDC to Hydro One.

“The City of Orillia as the sole shareholder of OPDC is continuing down the Council-approved path to sell our local distribution company,” said Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke in the release.

The original application was denied in April, after the OEB found the proposed sale failed to satisfy the “no harms test.”

However, according to Clarke, the OEB has not yet ruled on a “key element” of the deal.

Orillia mayor ‘disappointed’ OEB won’t hear appeal of Hydro One, OPDC acquisition decision

According to the release, the OEB’s decision to deny the application was based on the uncertainty of what distribution rates in Orillia would be after 10 years with Hydro One.

However, the city says through motions filed by OPDC and Hydro One in May 2018, Hydro One provided a commitment that Orillia ratepayers would not be harmed in year 11.

“The OEB has not ruled 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 will be no worse off than if we had retained OPDC,” Clarke said. “It is 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,” Clarke said.

According to the release, if the application is approved, distribution rates would be reduced by one per cent and frozen for five years, followed by only inflationary increases for years six through 10.

“After year 10, Hydro One has committed to distribution rates that will be no higher than the OPDC status quo. Any adjustment rates after year 10 would need to be reviewed and approved by the OEB,” the release reads.

Ontario Energy Board pulls plug on Hydro One-Orillia Power Distribution deal

This news comes just weeks after the OEB announced it would not hear an appeal of its decision regarding the sale of OPDC to Hydro One.

The OEB ultimately decided not to hear an appeal on the sale because the application “failed to satisfy the threshold necessary to move forward with an appeal process.”

However, according to the release, over the coming weeks, OPDC will work with Hydro One in order to refile the application with the OEB.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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