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AltaLink remains committed to keeping customer costs flat through 2023

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CALGARY, Alberta, May 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AltaLink remains committed to providing its customers with affordable and predictable costs for its transmission services. During 2019, AltaLink will defend its 2019-2021 General Tariff Application (GTA) to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to keep its transmission rates flat for the next three years.

“As Alberta’s economy continues to recover, our customers expect value from the transmission system that supplies energy to the homes, farms, businesses and industry across our province,” said Scott Thon, AltaLink President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Last year, we applied to keep our rates at 2018 levels through to the end of 2021,” said Thon. “This is the first three years of the five-year commitment we made to our customers to apply to keep rates flat while continuing to improve our safety, reliability and customer service performance.”

Following a public review process, AltaLink’s 2019 to 2021 flat tariffs are subject to approval or revision by the AUC. AltaLink expects to receive a decision on its application from the AUC in late 2019. AltaLink’s commitment to apply for five years of no increases to its rates follows a series of initiatives that reduced AltaLink’s overall tariff request by hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Our customers have challenged us to develop innovative solutions to meet their needs for affordable and predictable rates,” said Thon. “Since 2015, through a combination of customer refunds and tariff reduction efforts, we have already reduced the cost to our customers by more than $650 million and if the 2019-2021 application is approved, this would increase savings to over $1.1 billion by 2021. I’m proud of the work our team has done to be an Alberta industry leader in managing costs and improving customer service.”

AltaLink’s regulated transmission rates represent a portion of the provincial transmission charge.

AltaLink announces 2019 first quarter results

AltaLink continues to invest in transmission facilities to ensure the reliability of the electricity grid. During the first three months of 2019, AltaLink invested $86.6 million in its transmission system.

Today, AltaLink, L.P. announced comprehensive income of $79.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019, compared to $79.0 million for the same period in 2018. The increase is primarily due to a higher regulatory capital investment. Revenue from operations for the three months ended March 31, 2019, was $232.0 million compared to $244.0 million during the same period in 2018, a decrease of $12.0 million. The change is primarily due to lower recovery of depreciation and salvage expenses.

As a partnership, AltaLink, L.P. reports its net income before income taxes; therefore its results are not directly comparable with net income reported by corporations that recognize income taxes in their financial statements.

AltaLink’s full financial results and management’s discussion and analysis can be found on AltaLink’s website at www.altalink.ca or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge, AltaLink is Alberta’s largest electricity transmission provider. AltaLink is partnering with its customers to provide innovative solutions to meet the province’s demand for reliable and affordable energy. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, AltaLink is part of a global group of companies delivering energy services to customers worldwide.

Significant highlights during the first quarter of 2019

During the three months ended March 31, 2019:

  • Customer satisfaction was 100%, which is consistent with the same period in 2018;
  • Reliability of service provided to customers was consistent with the same period in 2018. AltaLink’s year-to-date 2019 and 2018 customer outage times were less than one minute;
  • Our employee safety performance as measured by the total recordable injury frequency rate was 0.54, representing one injury (three months ended March 31, 2018 – one injury);
  • We earned net and comprehensive income of $79.8 million (three months ended March 31, 2018 – $79.0 million). Our net income increased slightly year-over-year mainly due to our increased regulatory capital investment;
  • On January 28, 2019, S&P reaffirmed its long-term corporate credit and senior secured ratings on AltaLink at “A” with a stable outlook. A strong “A” rating allows us to continue to provide low-cost debt financing for our customers;
  • On April 23, 2019, AltaLink requested permission from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to enter into a process for a partial negotiated settlement of our 2019-2021 General Tariff Application to which all four major customer groups have expressed an openness;
  • We invested $86.6 million (three months ended March 31, 2019 – $93.4 million) in capital assets to ensure the continued reliability of the electricity; and
  • AltaLink was selected by Emissions Reduction Alberta to develop a 20 megawatt/20 megawatt-hour Transmission Deferral Battery Energy Storage project at our Whitecourt, Alberta, industrial substation.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy AltaLink’s securities in any jurisdiction, including but not limited to, the United States. AltaLink’s securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

Except for the historical and present factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, including words such as “expects”, “intends”, “projects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, and similar expressions, are forward looking information that represents management of AltaLink’s internal projections, expectations or beliefs concerning, among other things, future operating results and various components thereof or the economic performance of AltaLink. The projections, estimates and beliefs contained in such forward looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause AltaLink’s actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, those described in AltaLink’s filings with the Canadian securities authorities. Accordingly, holders of AltaLink securities and potential investors are cautioned that events or circumstances could cause results to differ materially from those predicted. AltaLink disclaims any responsibility to update these forward looking statements.

For more information please contact:

Investor Relations
Chris Lomore
Vice President, Treasurer
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.267.3446
E-mail: chris.lomore@altalink.ca
Media Relations
Scott Schreiner
Vice President, Communications
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.267.2176
E-mail: scott.schreiner@altalink.ca