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Cube prepares to sell Yadkin dams to Ontario Power Generating

Cube Hydro, owner of Narrows and Falls dams on the Yadkin River, will be bought by Ontario Power Generation, a Canadian company.

Cube Hydro has 19 power facilities, including four in North Carolina (High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows and Falls). Other facilities are in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Both Falls and Narrows are on the Yadkin River. Falls can power 12,613 homes and has land in Stanly and Montgomery counties. Narrows can power 45,652 homes and has land in Davidson, Stanly and Montgomery counties.

According to its website, OPG makes enough power to provide half of the electricity Ontario residents use on a daily basis.

“The acquisition provides additional scale to OPG’s existing U.S. hydro platform and is expected to generate meaningful operational synergies between the two platforms, including enhanced opportunities for further capital deployment,” the company said in the release.

Eli Hopson, a representative with Cube Hydro Carolinas, said the change should be a positive one for the area.

“Cube Hydro Carolina’s primary investor, I Squared Capital (ISQ), has signed an agreement to sell its interests in Cube Hydro to a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG),” Hopson confirmed via email. “The transfer is subject to regulatory approvals, and Cube is working with OPG to pursue those approvals. Cube Hydro Carolinas and its affiliates will continue to operate in the same manner we always have, with a focus on safety and compliance as our number one priority. Cube Hydro’s commitment to economic development in the Uwharrie region will be further supported by this transition.”

Badin Town Manager Jay Almond said he has not received any information from the new dam owners yet.

“The purchase of Cube Hydro by Ontario Power Generation, including our local hydroelectric generation projects, is very recent and I have not yet met with anyone in any official capacity for briefings,” Almond said via email. “Casual conversations I have had with individuals in the industry suggest the impact locally should be fairly light.”
Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. received its operating license for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project in Badin in 1958. It received another license before selling the Yadkin Project to Cube Yadkin Generation LLC, transferring the license in 2016.

Almond said the town looks forward to beginning its relationship with OPG, adding a note of appreciation for Alcoa and Cube.

“From a municipal perspective, Badin has been lucky to partner with dedicated local hydro project staff in varied ways through the years regardless of ownership details and we look forward to continuing that positive professional and cooperative relationship,” he said. “In our experience, people really do make the difference and there are some good local people actively running those projects. It is our fervent hope that Ontario Power Generation will prove to be every bit the high caliber, conscientious steward of the hydro projects, project lands and waters and neighbor communities with which Badin has become accustomed.”

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.