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AltaLink taking action to protect Albertans from risk of wildfire

CALGARY, ALBERTA (Business Wire – May 6, 2024) – With an early start to wildfire season announced in Alberta, AltaLink’s top priority is protecting its customers and the communities where it operates while delivering safe, reliable, and affordable power.

Alberta experienced a record-breaking wildfire season in 2023 with more than 2.2 million hectares burned, the most in Alberta’s history, compared to the five-year average of 200,000 hectares. This year drought conditions, especially in the southern part of the province, will increase the risk of wildfires in Alberta. Alberta is already in Stage 4 (out of 5) in its water shortage management response plan, a level that wasn’t reached until the later months of 2023.

“As wildfires become more frequent and intense, reducing the likelihood that our system contributes to the ignition of a fire is a critical part of our job in delivering power safely to millions of Albertans,” said Gary Hart, AltaLink President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve seen the devastation that a wildfire can cause to communities in Alberta and across North America and we are taking action to help prevent it from happening.”

In 2019, AltaLink became the first utility in Alberta to establish a wildfire mitigation plan based on a wildfire model created by external wildfire experts.

Since then, AltaLink has implemented a series of safety measures and system enhancements to increase situational awareness and mitigate the risk of the transmission system contributing to the ignition of a wildfire. This includes real-time analysis of weather conditions, increased inspections, enhanced vegetation management activities, asset upgrades and establishing a last resort measure in extreme and dangerous weather conditions called a Public Safety Power Shut-off to de-energize facilities during times of extreme fire weather.

In response to the increase in extreme weather and the severity of wildfire activity experienced in Alberta in 2023, AltaLink filed an amendment to its 2024-2025 General Tariff Application to further enhance and accelerate investments in its wildfire mitigation program. AltaLink began implementing these investments in 2024.

AltaLink announces 2024 first quarter financial results

Today, AltaLink, L.P. announced net and comprehensive income of $82.6 million compared to $72.8 million for the same quarter in 2023. Our income increased mainly due to increased revenue from the regulatory generic cost of capital decision, and a higher recovery of interest as a result of higher approved short term interest rates.

For the three months ended March 31, 2024, our revenue from operations increased by $22.8 million compared to the same period in 2023. The change is primarily due to recovery of higher allowable costs of transmission services, and higher debt and equity returns on rate base.

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.sedarplus.ca.

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 2024

AltaLink’s safe delivery of affordable and reliable electricity for its customers highlights its first quarter of 2024 results:

  • We achieved a customer satisfaction average score of 9.66 out of 10 compared to 9.16 for the same quarter in 2023.
  • We had zero employee injuries, representing a total recordable injury frequency rate of zero, matching our performance for the same quarter in 2023.
  • Our customer average outage duration improved to one minute compared to four minutes for the same quarter in 2023. This improvement was primarily due to fewer equipment malfunctions and a reduced frequency of severe winter weather in 2024.
  • We earned net and comprehensive income of $82.6 million compared to $72.8 million for the same quarter in 2023. Our income increased mainly due increased revenue from the regulatory generic cost of capital decision, and a higher recovery of interest as a result of higher approved short term interest rates.
  • In January 2024, AltaLink was named in Forbes Canada’s best employers list for 2024.
  • On March 14, 2024, we received the Workplace Excellence Award from the United Way of Calgary and Area, for our 2023 campaign which raised more than $0.8 million. The award honors workplace campaigns that exhibit strong employee engagement, leadership support, and a best-practice approach.
  • We invested $69.6 million in capital assets compared to $61.1 million for the same quarter in 2023 to ensure continued electric transmission system safety and reliability, and connect clean energy generation.
  • In February 2024, AltaLink was directed by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) to proceed with Stage 2 of the Central East Transfer Out Project. Stage 2 will add a second planned circuit to the 240-kilovolt transmission line to enable more capacity for incremental generation in Alberta’s central east and southeast areas.
  • On April 26, 2024, S&P reaffirmed its issuer credit rating and senior secured rating on AltaLink at “A-” with a stable outlook. An “A-” rating allows us to keep debt financing costs low for our customers.

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 FURTHER INFORMATION

Investor Relations

Chris Lomore
Vice President, Treasurer
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.828.1521
E-mail: Chris.Lomore@AltaLink.ca

Media Relations

Scott Schreiner
Vice President, External Engagement
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.880.0275
E-mail: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca