FortisUS seeks FERC approval for sale of four hydro facilities to Energy Ottawa

FortisUS Energy Corp. on April 3 requested Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorization for a transaction in which a to-be-formed wholly-owned subsidiary of a new holding company affiliated with Energy Ottawa Inc. proposes to purchase all of the outstanding shares of FortisUS Energy, which owns and operates four hydropower qualifying facilities (QFs) in New York.

The transaction involves the purchase of all the shares of FortisUS Energy, which owns four hydroelectric QFs that collectively comprise approximately 24 MW in the New York ISO market. The application said this transaction will have a de minimis impact on the relevant market. FortisUS asked that the commission issue an order approving the transaction no later than May 18, in order to permit applicant to proceed with preparations for closing on the transaction soon thereafter.

FortisUS Energy is wholly owned by FortisUS Inc., which in turn is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc. is a publicly traded holding company existing under the laws of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, with regulated holdings in electric utilities in five Canadian provinces, Arizona, New York State and two Caribbean countries, and natural gas utilities in British Columbia, Canada, Arizona, and New York State.

All of the output of these four hydro projects is currently sold under contracts with National Grid, which expire on Dec. 31, 2016. The projects are:

  • The Moose River Project is an approximately 13 MW (net) run-of-river hydroelectric project and qualifying small power production facility located in the town of Lyonsdale, Lewis County, New York.  The facility is interconnected with the transmission grid owned by National Grid and operated by the NYISO.
  • The Philadelphia Project is an approximately 4 MW (net) run-of river hydroelectric project and qualifying small power production facility located on the Indian River in Jefferson County, New York. The facility is interconnected with the transmission grid owned by National Grid and operated by the NYISO.
  • The Diana Project is an approximately 2 MW (net) run-of-river hydroelectric facility and a qualifying small power production facility located in the Town of Diana, Lewis County, New York. The Diana Project includes only those interconnecting transmission facilities necessary to effect wholesale sales; it is interconnected with the transmission grid owned by National Grid and operated by the NYISO.
  • The Dolgeville Project is an approximately 5 MW (net) run-of-river hydroelectric facility and qualifying small power production facility that is located in the Village of Dolgeville, Herkimer County, New York. It is interconnected with the transmission grid owned by National Grid and operated by the NYISO.

The purchaser will be established as a U.S.-based holding company and will be the direct owner of the shares of FortisUS Energy. Purchaser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of New HoldCo, a company based in Ontario, Canada, which, in turn, is an affiliate of Energy Ottawa. Energy Ottawa is a diversified energy company founded in 2000 and is based in Ottawa, Canada. The company operates hydroelectric facilities, gas-to-energy generating plants, and solar installation partnerships. It also offers a range of energy management and procurement services, including recommending, managing, and implementing a package of energy saving measures for large energy-consuming organizations and corporations; and lighting and mechanical turnkey services, smart data solutions, and small business lighting services.

Energy Ottawa directly owns three hydroelectric facilities operated on the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Canada. Through a wholly-owned affiliate – Chaudiere Hydro LP – it owns three additional hydroelectric facilities on the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Canada. It also holds a 60% ownership interest in PowerTrail Inc., which owns and operates a 6-MW landfill gas to energy facility at a landfill site owned by the City of Ottawa, as well as a majority interest (50.1%) in Moose Creek Energy LP, which owns and operates a landfill gas to energy facility in Moose Creek, Ontario, Canada. Energy Ottawa also owns and operates certain solar energy facilities.

Energy Ottawa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc., which is wholly-owned by the City of Ottawa and governed by an independent Board of Directors appointed by its shareholder. The company’s core businesses are electricity distribution, renewable energy generation and energy conservation and management services. Hydro Ottawa owns and operates two subsidiary companies: Energy Ottawa and Hydro Ottawa Ltd.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.