Hydro One – Major Announcement On Monday

By John Swartz

Hydro One issued a press advisory Friday they are “making a multi-million dollar investment in Orillia which will ensure the safe, reliable delivery of electricity that will power Ontario’s economy for many years to come.”

Hydro One’s acting chief operating officer, Darlene Bradley, will be make the announcement at the Orillia Waterfront Centre at 3 p.m. accompanied by Mayor Steve Clarke and Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop.

“I can’t say anything whatsoever. The only thing I really recommend that you are there Monday for the announcement by Hydro One,” Clarke told SUNonline/Orillia.

The notification contained no other details. Whether the investment is related to the proposed sale of Orillia Power Corporation’s distribution business to Hydro One is speculative. A technical conference regarding the application to the Ontario Energy Board for the sale scheduled for April was postponed twice and is now set to take place Oct. 3. It is doubtful a sale approval has been decided prior to such a meeting taking place, and there is no documentation on the OEB website suggesting so.

However, two of the components making up the sale proposal – a regional maintenance facility and a storage facility – would likely not depend on OEB approval to take place. The third component is a what Hydro One has called a back-up network monitoring facility; it too could likely be built without approval, but Hydro One officials have previously said they would not build such a facility in a location outside Hydro One’s service area (Orillia is not part of Hydro One’s network to control).

Aside from the sale price of OPC to Hydro One of $26 million, plus other incentives, Hydro One has previously said they would invest more than $200 million in the three facilities mentioned above.


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