EPHRATA, Wash. – Grant PUD bond ratings were reaffirmed by the rating agencies Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s ahead of a $113 million bond issue planned for May 30. The ratings are AA, Aa3 and AA- respectively.
“In rating the utility, both Moody’s and Fitch emphasized the importance of our adopted financial plan, which includes future rate increases. Increased revenue is a key driver necessary to maintain our strong ratings,” said Grant PUD Chief Financial Officer Kevin Nordt. “Our long-term financial plan provides increased financial strength, which equates to stable rates into the future for our customers. We continue to work with the commission to develop and implement responsible financial management that will further solidify our financial stability.”
In 2009, Grant PUD was awarded $132.4 million in low-interest federal bond financing, called Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS). These dollars are intended for turbine and generator upgrades at Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River. CREBS allow Grant PUD’s borrowing to be subsidized by the federal government at 70 percent of the interest. Of this year’s $113 million issuance, Grant PUD will utilize the utility’s remaining $42.4 million of CREBS allocation. The remainder of the bond issuance, approximately $71 million, will be used to refund outstanding debt at a lower interest rate.
Pricing of the bonds is expected May 30-31. Bonds will be available to the public through a retail order period on May 30.