Idaho regulators question Avista’s sale to Canadian utility

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Idaho public utility officials are raising questions about Spokane, Washington-based energy company Avista Corp.’s sale to a Canadian utility, and their concerns have the potential to unravel the $5.3 billion deal.

The Spokesman-Review reports staff members from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission say the Ontario government’s influence on Toronto-based owner Hydro One Ltd. make them uneasy.

The province is Hydro One’s largest shareholder, with a 47 percent stake in the company.

Avista and Hydro One want to finalize the sale before the end of the year, though they’ve extended the deadline for the transaction to March 29.

Public utility commissions in Montana and Alaska have approved the sale, with decisions pending in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Washington regulators plan to make a decision by Dec. 14, but Idaho hasn’t set a deadline for a decision.