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FortisOntario and LHATC announce memorandum of understanding to develop transmission projects in Ontario


February 7, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

First Nations’ Lake Huron Anishinabek Transmission Company Inc. (LHATC) and FortisOntario Inc. have entered into a memorandum of understanding for a joint venture to develop, construct and operate regulated electricity transmission projects in Ontario.

LHATC represents First Nations who are signatories or are adherent to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. FortisOntario, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc., will hold a minimum 51 percent interest, with LHATC having the rights to acquire up to a 49 percent equity interest, in the joint venture.

The Ontario Energy Board recently issued a Framework for Transmission Project Development Plans, which encourages competition for new transmission investment in Ontario through a formal competitive designation process for projects identified by the Ontario Power Authority, the transmission planner for the Province of Ontario.

“This joint venture will leverage the combined strengths of LHATC and its unified group of First Nations communities with the expertise of the Fortis companies, thereby enabling us to compete successfully to construct, own and operate new transmission infrastructure in Ontario,” said Bill Daley, president and CEO at FortisOntario.

“By combining their existing capacity and expertise in electrical transmission with our key, strategic rights tothe 1850 Robinson-Huron Treaty territory, we are confident that we are in a strong position to deliver high quality transmission services for the greatest public benefit to Ontario,” said John Beaucage, CEO at LHATC.

Fortis is one of the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serving approximately 2,100,000 gas and electricity customers. Its regulated holdings include electric distribution utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries and a natural gas utility in British Columbia.