Sale of Orillia Power to Hydro One is a done deal

power grid

The sale of the Orillia Power Distribution Corporation (OPDC) to Hydro One Inc. (Hydro One) officially closed on Sept. 1, 2020.

The closing of the deal marks the start of a transition period where Hydro One and OPDC are brought together. Starting with September electricity use, Orillia residents will receive a one per cent reduction to the base distribution rate of the bill. At this time, Orillia hydro bills will still come from OPDC and customers will receive updates from Hydro One regarding the transition throughout the process.

The City of Orillia is retaining ownership of the Orillia Power Generation Corporation which continues to thrive.

“On behalf of Orillia Council, I would like to welcome Hydro One to the Sunshine City. Hydro One’s continued investment in our community and their proven philanthropic spirit will serve our community well now and into the future,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Orillians will benefit from a one per cent reduction in their base distribution rates, which will be frozen for five years, along with the significant economic spin-off benefits generated by the construction of new facilities in West Orillia and the hundreds of jobs coming to our community.”

Hydro One plans to construct a provincial warehouse and a regional operations centre in the Horne Business Park in West Orillia, adjacent to the primary Ontario Grid Control Centre currently under construction on the site. The company anticipates moving approximately 150 to 250 high-quality jobs to this facility. It is anticipated that $200 to $300 million in near-term economic impact to the City will come as a result of these facilities.

“We are thrilled to become a part of Orillia and to continue energizing life in the community for years to come,” said Mark Poweska, President and CEO, Hydro One. “At Hydro One, we’re deeply committed to the communities where we work and live, and look forward to finding more ways to support families, businesses and the local economy in Orillia.”

“I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Hydro One family into our amazing community!  When driving down University Avenue in West Orillia you can see the significant investment Hydro One is making in Orillia with the construction of the Ontario Grid Control Centre. With the closing of the sale of OPDC, Hydro One will further invest in our community by building operational facilities that will bring new jobs and growth to our city. It’s through investments like these that the City of Orillia is building a strong economic foundation that will see our community prosper for years to come,” said Gayle Jackson, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Orillia.

OPDC employees will be transferred to Hydro One with comparable pension and benefits, along with a one-year location guarantee. The same people who are delivering your electricity today will be the same people delivering it tomorrow. 

For more information regarding the transition to Hydro One visit hydroone.com/orillia. For more information regarding Hydro One’s investment in Orillia, please visit orillia.ca/techhub.

Highlights:

  • Economic Impact: Three new facilities being built on the Horne Business Park in West Orillia.
    • Primary Ontario Grid Control Centre (currently under construction)
    • Provincial Warehouse
    • Regional Operations Centre
  • Orillia Power Distribution sold: $26.35 million cash purchase by Hydro One.
  • Horne Business Park land sale: Hydro One has purchased 16.41 acres of the land required for the Ontario Grid Control portion of the development for approximately $3 million – validated as fair market value by a third-party valuator. Hydro One intends to make further land purchases for the two additional facilities after the deal closes.
  • Orillia consumers protected: Current Orillia Power customers will benefit from a one per cent reduction in base distribution rates. Distribution rates account for approximately 20 per cent of the overall bill (the remainder is set based on market costs at the provincial level). These reduced rates will be frozen for five years, with increases less than inflation from years six to 10. Distribution rates after year 10 would need to be reviewed and approved by the Ontario Energy Board.
  • OPDC jobs protected: OPDC employees are moving to Hydro One with comparable pay, benefits and pension, along with a one-year location guarantee.
  • Orillia Power Generation Corporation: City retains complete ownership, along with annual dividend which accounts for approximately 78 per cent of the overall Orillia Power Corporation dividend.
  • Orillia Legacy Fund: City to deposit approximately $36 million from the deal to an Orillia Legacy Fund, which will likely generate investment income in excess of the existing OPDC portion of the annual dividend.
  • Philanthropic investment: Hydro One has committed $250,000 through its community investment program to benefit the community. The City and Hydro One will work together to determine funding partnership opportunities. Hydro One has already demonstrated its strong commitment to the community through financial support of the Ontario Winter Games and the Mariposa Folk Festival.

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