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Commitment to customer savings and satisfaction powers AltaLink’s 2017 performance

CALGARY, ALBERTA (Globe Newswire – February 26, 2018) – AltaLink’s focus on customers drove valuable cost savings for every Albertan and improved customer satisfaction results in 2017. More than 90% of customers connected or connecting to AltaLink’s transmission system responded that they were satisfied with AltaLink’s service in 2017.

“Our team is committed to understanding what our customers need and delivering the results they demand,” said Scott Thon, President and Chief Executive Officer of AltaLink. “That includes providing affordable, predictable transmission rates and reliable service customers can depend on.”

In late 2017, AltaLink announced its commitment to filing to keep its portion of transmission rates flat from 2018 to 2023. The 2018 rates were negotiated with representatives from industrial, commercial and residential customers in a first-of-its-kind in Alberta agreement between a transmission company and its customers. The negotiated settlement has already provided savings of more than $50 million in 2017 and 2018. Combined with AltaLink’s previously approved rate relief efforts, the company has reduced rates for customers by more than $650 million during the 2015 to 2018 period.

“We are working with electricity customer groups to file for no increase to AltaLink’s transmission rates for the next five years,” said Thon. “Together, we will find innovative solutions to provide flat rates to the end of 2023.”  

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

AltaLink announces 2017 year end results

AltaLink continues to invest in transmission facilities to ensure the reliability of the electricity grid and to help enable Alberta’s transition to a greener energy future. During 2017, AltaLink invested $511.3 million in its transmission system.

Today, AltaLink, L.P. announced comprehensive income of $336.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $307.5 million in 2016. The increase is primarily due to the increased investment in our electricity transmission infrastructure, combined with savings from continued cost control measures.

Revenue from operations for the year ended 2017 was $973.1 million compared to $941.2 million in 2016, an increase of $31.8 million. The change is primarily due to an increase in our investment in electricity transmission infrastructure. 

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 2017 highlights 

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2017:

  • On August 30, 2017, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved AltaLink’s negotiated settlement agreement with our customers for our 2017-2018 GTA. Along with more than $50 million in customer savings in 2017 and 2018, the first-of-its-kind negotiated settlement agreement for an Alberta transmission company also allows us to equally share with our customers certain additional cost savings we may achieve over 2017 and 2018. Combined with AltaLink’s previously approved rate relief efforts, the company has reduced rates for customers by more than $650 million during the 2015 to 2018 period;
  • In late 2017, we announced our commitment to filing to keep our portion of transmission rates flat from 2018 to 2023 by finding innovative solutions to reducing costs through collaboration with electricity customer groups;
  • We earned net income of $336.8 million (2016 – $306.0 million). This is pre-tax net income, since AltaLink is a limited partnership and tax is incurred and paid by our owners. 2017 net income was $30.8 million higher than for 2016 primarily due to our increased regulatory capital investment;
  • On April 5, 2017, AltaLink filed its application with the AUC with respect to AltaLink’s 2014 direct assigned projects and deferral accounts and specific 2015 direct assigned projects. On December 8, 2017, an updated application was filed, including all 2015 direct assigned projects. The amended application includes 110 completed projects with total gross capital additions, excluding AFUDC, of $3.8 billion;
  • On January 24, 2018, S&P reaffirmed its long-term corporate credit and senior secured ratings on AltaLink at “A” with a stable outlook. DBRS also reaffirmed an “A” rating on our Medium-Term Notes along with an “R-1 (low)” rating on our commercial paper on September 28, 2017. A strong “A” rating allows us to continue to provide low cost debt financing for our customers;
  • Our employee safety results continue to be strong with a 0.26 injury frequency rate in 2017, and are consistent with the results attained in 2016; 
  • Reliability of service provided to customers in 2017 saw a decline in performance as compared to 2016 primarily due to some unique adverse weather-related events. Our customer outage time was 54 minutes in 2017 and 25 minutes in 2016, our customer outage frequency was 0.76 in 2017 compared to 0.65 in 2016, and our customer restoration time was 107 minutes in 2017 and 83 minutes in 2016; 
  • In 2017, 91% of direct customers surveyed said they were satisfied with AltaLink’s services;
  • We reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) which is effective January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2018;
  • We energized the South and West of Edmonton Area Transmission Development (SWEATD), Red Deer Regional Transmission Development (755L and 423L), and the Southwest Calgary Ring Road Transmission Projects (SWRR). We realized total combined cost savings for customers as a result of completing these projects on schedule and below project estimates; 
  • Our flexible Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) high-voltage, direct-current technology was able to quickly reverse the direction of power flow to cost?effectively bring energy to where it was needed in the Province. For example, in May 2017, 41% of the energy transmitted on WATL was primarily wind-generated energy moving in a south to north direction, the most ever in Alberta on a monthly basis. At year end, the link was dispatched to different power flows over 380 times, including 68 times where flows were reversed from south to north in support of the power system and market. AltaLink had 100% peak utilization of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) link in March 2017 to facilitate planned outages on the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES);
  • We invested $511.3 million (2016 – $621.3 million) in capital assets to ensure continued reliability of the electricity network and help enable Alberta’s renewable energy future; and
  • We furthered our cyber security preparedness by implementing additional controls to meet compliance requirements and to keep pace with best practices.

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.
E-mail: Chris.Lomore@AltaLink.ca

Media Relations

Scott Schreiner
Vice President, Communications
AltaLink Management Ltd.
E-mail: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca