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UNS Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Fortis

Shareholders of UNS Energy Corporation voted overwhelmingly today to approve the proposed acquisition of the company by a subsidiary of Fortis Inc.

The votes were tabulated at today’s special meeting for shareholders at UNS Energy’s Corporate Headquarters in Tucson. Approximately 97 percent of the ballots cast supported the company’s acquisition by Fortis, the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility company in Canada.

“Today’s vote is a positive step toward a new partnership that will provide benefits for shareholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve. Joining Fortis will provide additional financial strength to help us maintain safe, reliable service throughout Arizona,” said Board Chair and CEO Paul J. Bonavia.

The merger agreement provides that Fortis will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of UNS Energy for $60.25 per share in cash. The $4.3 billion transaction, which includes the assumption of approximately $1.8 billion in debt, would provide additional capital and new resources for UNS Energy’s subsidiaries, including Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services (UES). Both companies will remain headquartered in Tucson under local control with current management and staffing levels and no planned changes to existing operations or rates.

Joining the Fortis family of companies would improve UNS Energy’s access to capital to fund the ongoing diversification of its generating fleet as well as investment in other infrastructure improvements. Upon closing, Fortis will inject $200 million of equity into UNS Energy.

The merger is subject to the approval of regulators, including the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended; and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. UNS Energy anticipates the transaction will be finalized by the end of 2014.

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Duke Energy Renewables Acquires Arizona Solar Farm From SOLON

Duke Energy Renewables has acquired a 10-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar project near Kingman, Ariz., from SOLON Corp.

The Black Mountain Solar Project under construction in Mohave County is expected to achieve commercial operation in October of this year. UniSource Energy Services (UES) will purchase the power generated at the Black Mountain site through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“This acquisition expands our footprint in the western United States and helps a premier Arizona energy service provider deliver affordable, zero-emission renewable power to its customers,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. “Comprised of more than 40,000 solar panels, the Black Mountain project is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes.”

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, purchased the photovoltaic project from SOLON Corp., one of the largest solar power plant developers in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SOLON designed the solar array, powered by SOLON’s single-axis tracking technology, and will construct and continue to handle operations, monitoring and maintenance of the system after it is commissioned.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Duke Energy on this project to provide a cost effective way for Unisource Energy Services to bring solar to Arizona,” said Dan Alcombright, president and CEO of SOLON Corporation. “With more than 60 MW of utility-scale photovoltaic systems installed in Arizona, SOLON is committed to delivering proven solutions to utilities and creating renewable energy jobs for the economy. We are proud that this 10-MW project will create more than 250 local jobs during construction.”

Duke Energy Renewables already owns two other solar facilities in the state: the 4-MW Ajo Solar Farm in Pima County and the 15-MW Bagdad Solar Farm in Yavapai County.

Black Mountain is Duke Energy Renewables’ 12th wholly owned commercial solar farm. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business lines.

For more information on Duke Energy Renewables, visit Duke Energy Renewables’ website at duke-energy.com/commercial-renewables.