The Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday afternoon finished its technical hearing on Avista Corp.’s proposed $5.3 billion sale to a Canadian utility.
The two-day hearing lived up to its reputation as a “technical” process, with attorneys sparring over the meanings of words in documents related to the province of Ontario’s authority over the utility, Toronto-based Hydro One Ltd.
Much of the testimony and cross-examination focused on the province’s 47 percent ownership stake in Hydro One. The three-member utilities commission, its staff and attorneys for other intervenors questioned Hydro One executives about the province’s ability to influence the company and what protections would be in place for Avista customers after the sale.
Commission members must determine whether the sale would benefit Avista customers. Their signoff is needed for the sale to go through, but they haven’t set a deadline for making a decision.
Avista and Hydro One officials hope to close the sale by the end of the year but agreed to extend the transaction through March 29, if needed.
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