For additional information on GVEC
please see Fitch's press release dated July 14, 2011.
If these subsidiaries cause GVEC to expand beyond its core competencies in a meaningful way, or have an adverse impact on operating results, negative rating pressure could emerge.
Overall, GVEC provides electricity to approximately 68,000 customers and an estimated population of 182,000.
As a result, GVEC will be responsible for procuring its power supply needs after the LCRA contract expires at the end of 2016.
While Fitch recognizes the emerging operating risk at GVEC, the stable Outlook reflects Fitch's view that structural elements of the utility such as their pass-through of costs on a monthly basis to commercial and industrial customers, as well as management's commitment to maintaining strong financial metrics, will mitigate the this risk.
The announcement by GVEC
is a credit concern but does not prompt a rating change at this time, because the loss of 12% of LCRA's load from GVEC
's recent notice and the aggregate load loss of 15% based on notifications received to date is in line with the range of load loss scenarios presented by LCRA and considered by Fitch.
GVEC has also invested in small subsidiary businesses that provide ancillary services like major appliance sales and internet service to under-served customers.
A long-term rating driver will be the strategy that GVEC chooses to meet its energy needs in the future.
GVEC projects that it will maintain cash reserves at about $5 million annually though they acknowledge that adjustments in its future energy resource mix would require more cash on hand.
If these subsidiaries cause GVEC to go beyond its core competencies or have an adverse impact on operating results, this could have a negative rating impact.