The Chief Executive Officer of Canadian-owned Hydro One Limited and the entire Hydro One board of directors are officially no longer with the company.
Canadian Premier Doug Ford made the announcement that CEO Mayo Schmidt retired and the board of directors resigned as of Wednesday.
In a press conference held by Ford on Wednesday, he said the promise he made during his campaign that the CEO and entire board would be replaced came to fruition.
“I said over and over again on the campaign trail that the CEO and the board would be gone,” Ford said. “I am happy to say today (Wednesday) that the CEO and board of Hydro One, they’re gone, they’re done. They’re done. We are going to turn a new corner. A promise was made and a promise was kept.”
On June 4, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which regulates public utilities by certifying qualified providers of public utility and pipeline services and ensuring that they provide safe and adequate services and facilities at just and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions, approved the sale of Avista Corp. (parent company of Alaska Electric Light & Power) to Canadian-owned Hydro One Limited. That sale is still pending with utility commissions in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
On July 3, AEL&P announced that the RCA approved its request to pass income tax savings through to its customers. Effective Aug. 1, customers will see a 6.73 percent decrease in electric rates as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The Tax Act includes provisions lowering the effective federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35 percent to a flat rate of 21 percent.
According to the Hydro One website, Hydro One’s chief financial officer Paul Dobson is now the acting CEO at Hydro One.
Debbie Driscoll, vice president and director of consumer affairs for AEL&P, said in an email to the Empire that the sale will not impact AEL&P’s customers.
“AEL&P remains focused on our operations and providing clean reliable power to the community of Juneau,” Driscoll said. “Actions in Ontario will not impact our ability to serve our customers.”
Avista Corp. communications manager Casey Fielder, in an email to the Empire, echoed those remarks.
“We continue to work through the regulatory process for the merger, and we remain focused on serving our customers, communities, employees and shareholders,” Fielder said.
In an email from Hydro One, through its director of communication Jay Armitage, the company said the change in its CEO and board will not change its pursuit in purchasing Avista.
“We are still committed to the Avista deal and continue to anticipate the transaction will close in the second half of the year,” Armitage said. “Our outlook on the transaction and ability to service the Avista assets has not changed. As part of the deal, Hydro One and Avista have made governance and financial ring-fencing commitments that will protect Avista customers, employees, communities and any subsidiaries.”
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at email@example.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.