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Fortis applies to buy Kelowna utility

FortisBC has taken the next step in efforts to acquire Kelowna's power utility.

Fortis Wednesday filed an application for a Certificate of Public Conveyance and Necessity with the BC Utilities Commission to purchase the utility's assets for $55M.

The application was able to move forward after an insufficient number of Kelowna citizens opposed the sale through an Alternative Approval Process earlier in the fall.

Less than .01 per cent (91) of the electorate opposed the sale far short of the 10 per cent (9,484) required to trigger a city- wide referendum.

FortisBC has been operating the Kelowna's power utility since 2000.

City officials say Kelowna's existing electrical utility business model is not sustainable and vulnerable to different pressures, in particular:

  • Changes in the wholesale price of electricity that the city must acquire.
  • Future capital spending on system infrastructure.
  • Increases in operating and maintenance costs for the facility.

The city will take the $55M it receives for the utility and re-invest it in Fortis Inc. shares.

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