FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Platte River Power Authority’s $114 million Series HH power revenue bonds didn't last long on the market. In fact, if more had been offered, about five times that amount could have been sold due to demand. Part of the attractiveness of the bonds came from the positive ratings recently given by Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Rating Services. All three rating agencies assigned a stable rating outlook and affirmed the ratings on outstanding Platte River bonds.
Proceeds from the Series HH bonds will be used to pay for a portion of capital improvements, mainly transmission related. Transmission projects are planned in parts of Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont.
Currently under construction, the new 230,000 volt transmission line between Dixon Creek Substation on the southwest side of Fort Collins and Horseshoe Substation on the northwest side of Loveland will be a combination of overhead and underground technologies. Seven miles of existing overhead lines will be rebuilt and 2.5 miles of new underground transmission will run south along Shields/Wilson from Trilby Substation. The new transmission line is scheduled for completion in 2011. This project will reinforce reliability of electrical service in the Loveland area and has been in the planning stages for several years.
Brian Moeck, Platte River's general manager noted, "Platte River was created to provide electricity that is reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible. The bond ratings reflect our hard work and focus over the past 35 years."
Another project is planned in the Longmont area. Also a combination of overhead and underground lines, this 22-mile project from the Fort St. Vrain power plant near Platteville to Fordham Substation in southwest Longmont, calls for rebuilding overhead lines and installing seven miles of underground.
According to Fitch, Platte River's strong credit rating reflects its consistent and solid financial performance, low-cost generating resources, competitive wholesale rates and growing member municipal distribution systems, which are financially sound and also have competitive retail rates.
Moeck is pleased by the ratings, "We are constantly managing our risks and costs. This will ultimately benefit our owners -- the residents of the communities we serve."
Fitch also states that Platte River's average 'all-in' cost of power has remained very competitive and is among the lower cost power providers in the Rocky Mountain region. The rating agency states that Platte River's average cost of power should remain competitive for the foreseeable future.
"The overall interest cost came in well below previous expectations," said Dave Smalley, Platte River's chief financial officer. "Platte River’s 'AA' credit rating and the scarcity of Colorado bonds created high demand for the bonds. We received orders well in excess of desired amounts."
Platte River Power Authority generates and delivers reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado, where it is distributed by each municipal utility to residents and businesses. For more information, please visit, www.prpa.org.
Fitch Ratings, Cindy Stoller, Media Relations, New York, 212-908-0526, firstname.lastname@example.org
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Paul Dyson, Primary Credit Analyst, San Francisco, 415-371-5079, email@example.com
Moody's Investors Service, Journalists contact 212-553-0376