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NB Power factors in pending Mactaquac plant decision in rate case filing

NBPower is seeking an average 2% electric rate increase across allclasses starting April 1, 2017, to help repay debt and continue systemreliability investments.

The proposed rate increase for the 2017-2018 fiscal year isbased on a revenue requirement of C$1.73 billion, according to the company'sOct. 4 filing with the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.If approved, residential customers would see the largest rate hike of 2.33%.

In building its case for a rate hike, NB Power said itconsidered the pendingdecision on the Mactaquac generating station and its expected impact ondebt. The company is considering whether to repair, replace or destroy theplant because of unstable concrete in the powerhouse structure.

Mactaquac, which started producing power in 1968, wasexpected to be shuttered early because of concrete problems known asalkali-aggregate reaction that affect the powerhouse and spillway. The planthas a capacity of 668 MW. NB Power plans to reveal which option it intends topursue in late 2016. Any decision will be subject to regulatory approval.

"Modest increases now will help us make financialprogress on our debt, which will protect our customers over the longterm," NB Power CFO and Vice President of corporate services Darren Murphysaid in a news release.

NB Power said the additional revenue also will help fund necessaryinvestments in the non-nuclear side of the Point Lepreau generating station.