Skip to content

Manitoba Hydro names new CEO after parting ways with previous president

Allan Danroth, Manitoba Hydro's new president and chief executive officer, speaks in Winnipeg on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Hydro, the province's Crown-owned energy corporation, has named a new president and chief executive officer to guide the utility through challenges that include a high debt load and a need for new energy production.

Allan Danroth, who served as a vice-president with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries and had a senior role at Alberta-based Capital Power, is to start in the role next month.

"My job as CEO is to provide stability, to let our talented executive team run their units, and ensure our employees are empowered to do their jobs safely and to the best of their abilities," Danroth told reporters Tuesday.

Danroth replaces Jay Grewal, who was let go four months after the Manitoba New Democrats won last year's provincial election.

Grewal, appointed by the former Progressive Conservative government, ruffled feathers when she said Manitoba could need new power generation by 2029 and would reach out to independent producers to supply power from wind and other sources.

The minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, Adrien Sala, said new energy resources would have to be publicly owned. The two also appeared to be at odds over clean energy, with Grewal saying a plan to have Manitoba Hydro at net zero emissions by 2035 was not feasible.

The NDP government replaced the Hydro board soon after winning the October election, and the board parted ways soon after with Grewal.

Danroth wouldn't discuss future energy plans at his first press conference. He said he was just settling into the position.

"I haven't even been able to meet all of my team. It's summer and lots of folks are away," he said.

Manitoba Hydro saw its debt triple in the last two decades, as cost overruns plagued major projects. Last year, dry weather reduced power-generating water flows and turned an expected profit into an estimated $190-million loss in the corporation's latest financial report.

The government has promised to build new generating power, publicly or in partnership with First Nations, stabilize Hydro's finances and keep rates low. The NDP promised a one-year rate freeze for consumers in the election campaign, although it later said that promise is likely going to have to be pushed back.

The government is promising a new long-term energy policy in September

"The focus that we have in this energy policy is first and foremost that we lay out our plan for building our capacity here in Manitoba," Sala said Tuesday.

"We know we need to do that. And we want to do that in a way that maximizes energy affordability, while ensuring we do everything we can to deliver on that net-zero target going forward."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2024.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks