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A $900K dividend from Orillia Power will flow into city coffers

2020 was 'excellent water year' at water-power stations, but 2021 isn't looking so bright, officials warn
2020-05-01 Orillia Power
Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters file photo

Despite 2020 being a “year of transition” for Orillia Power, as board chair Greg Gee put it, the company was able to provide its sole shareholder, the City of Orillia, with a dividend of $900,000.

It was different from previous years, city council members heard during Monday’s annual shareholder meeting, because of the sale of the Orillia Power Distribution Corporation to Hydro One in September, as well as Orillia Power’s purchase of Shaman Power in October.

At the beginning of 2021, there was also the amalgamation of the Orillia Power Corporation, the Orillia Power Generation Corporation and their solar operations.

“Overall, from an operating and financial perspective, it was a very good year,” Gee said.

Revenue increased by 9.6 per cent to $10.14 million ($9.25 million in 2019), while operating expenses increased by 17.7 per cent to $4.26 million ($3.62 million in 2019).

It was also an “excellent water year” for Orillia Power’s water-power stations, which exceeded budget expectations by 12.8 per cent ($967,000). They generated $8.2 million in revenue, while operating costs were $5 million and net earnings were $2.1 million.

The solar situation was another sunny story. Orillia Power has four solar installations in Orillia and three in Cobourg. They brought in $1.31 million in revenue, while operating costs were $192,000 and net earnings were $364,000.

“This was a good solar year. We exceeded the budget by $84,000,” Gee said.

“It’s still a very nice and profitable business for us and we’re very pleased with it.”

While water-power revenues in 2020 were favourable, 2021 isn’t looking as positive.

Orillia Power has budgeted net earnings of $2.2 million for this year’s water-power operations. Those budgets are based on water flows across all of its stations.

As of April 30, revenue from those stations was about $850,000 under budget due to decreased precipitation.

“We are having a very difficult water year this year … probably one of the worst we can remember in a long time,” Gee said, noting, as of May, water-power revenue was more than $1 million below the budgeted amount.

“We’re not giving up on the year, but it would be quite a development to earn back $1 million,” he said, warning the story next year “won’t be nearly as happy.”


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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