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Wellington North Power seeks new business

by Olivia Rutt

MOUNT FOREST - Wellington North Power (WNP) has taken its first step to add or acquire a new company as part of its long-term goals.

WNP was seeking council permission to implement a holding company, to be owned by shareholders including Wellington North and Southgate townships, that would oversee WNP and the new business.

In March 2016, the Ontario Energy Board allowed power transmitters or distributors to “carry on a business activity other than transmitting or distributing electricity.”

WNP is looking to create or purchase an existing company in the future. Other energy companies that follow this model include Centre Wellington Energy Inc., Niagara-on-the-Lake Energy Inc. and Lakefront Group of Companies.

“This will enable the company to seek out other revenue streams, creating additional value to the shareholder whilst maintaining control of WNP and benefit ratepayers through affordable and reasonable electricity rates,” states the report.

Councillor Sherry Burke said, “Quite frankly, I was pretty surprised when I read this report that Wellington North Power potentially wants to get into business sort of doing something else.”

She asked if the new business  would be connected to hydro.  

Richard Bucknall, the CAO of WNP, said that is a possibility.

“What we are looking at are what are our strengths,” he said. “There could be some transfers of employees and assets into that new business.”

Burke asked if WNP was looking at acquiring particular businesses.

“This idea obviously came from somewhere, so without divulging to everybody here, are there certain businesses that you’re sort of looking at?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Bucknell.

CAO Mike Givens explained this move would allow WNP to react to an opportunity if it arose.

“This report is really about putting us into a position where we can be nimble and react if there is an opportunity that we think that would be advantageous to the shareholder and to our customers,” Givens said.

“We want to be able to dive into it, as opposed to mess around with structures.”

WNP employs 13 full-time staff members and provides electricity to 3,780 customers.

Council approved the recommendation to implement a holding company business model. Mayor Andy Lennox was absent.

September 8, 2017

 
 

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