Reevely: Hydro One will keep running its U.S. coal plant indefinitely, it tells American regulators

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, April 2, 2018

The Washington power company Hydro One is buying will be ready to close its huge coal-fired generating station ahead of schedule, thanks to conditions put on the corporate merger by state regulators there.

Not that we actually plan to do that, the company is telling other regulators in Montana, where the huge coal-fired generating station in question employs hundreds of people. We’ll be in the coal business for a good long time yet.

Hydro One, in which the Ontario government now owns a big minority stake, is still working on its purchase of Avista, a private power utility based in Spokane. The $6.7-billion deal, which Hydro One announced in July, includes a 15 per cent share in two of the four generating units in a coal plant in Colstrip, Montana, one of the biggest in the western United States. Avista gets most of its electricity from hydro dams and gas but uses the Colstrip plant when demand for power is high and water levels at its dams are low.

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