Largest municipally-owned green energy producer in Ontario gets greener
OTTAWA—Hydro Ottawa has acquired 10 run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities in Ontario and nearby New York State from Newfoundland-based utility company, Fortis.
The plants represent approximately 30.9 megawatts of installed operating capacity – 22.6 megawatts in New York State and 8.3 megawatts in Ontario.
Hydro Ottawa notes it was already the largest municipally-owned producer of green energy in Ontario with a generation capacity of 48 megawatts, and the new hydroelectric facilities will come close to doubling that footprint.
The acquisition aligns with the utility’s strategy to increase its supply of clean energy to customers, and its intention to pursue low risk opportunities with stable long-term returns. Prior to the acquisition, extensive due diligence was conducted by Hydro Ottawa, while BMO Capital Markets provided financial advice for the transaction.
“We want to increase renewable generation capacity and provide earnings that benefit our shareholder, the City of Ottawa, in an environmentally responsible way. After significant due diligence, risk evaluation, and a thorough technical assessment of all assets, we concluded that this was an excellent business opportunity that wisely builds upon our existing generation assets portfolio,” Bryce Conrad, president and CEO of Ottawa Hydro, said.
Hydro Ottawa noted its renewable energy generation business proved a significant source of revenue for the company in 2014, generating nearly $20 million. In the span of three years, Hydro Ottawa has tripled its green generating capacity and diversified its revenue streams. This acquisition follows the company’s 2014 announcement of a 40-year contract with the former Ontario Power Authority, now the IESO, to expand its Chaudière Falls site with a new 29 megawatt facility.
The newly-acquired Ontario assets are connected to the provincial electricity grid, while the assets in New York State provide synergies with Hydro Ottawa’s existing generation operations due to their close proximity to Ottawa.