JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A long-awaited decision was finally made at Wednesday’s meeting of the Missouri Public Service Commission. For years, Clean Line Energy had been trying to get a certificate of convenience and necessity from the PSC, and their latest attempt proved to be unsuccessful. The difference, this time, is that the PSC would have granted it, had their hands not been tied by a recent court ruling.
The commissioners all seemed to agree that Clean Line had met the necessary requirements to receive a CCN, but a ruling by the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals prevented them from granting it due to the fact that they did not get county assent.
Michael Skelly, President of Clean Line Energy, said that the company will review the order to determine what their next step will be for the project.
“We are currently assessing all existing authorities available to move the Grain Belt Express project forward, including but not limited to legal appeals,” he said.
The next item of the day concerned a request from Missouri-American Water Company to change its Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (“ISRS”).
The order before the commission on Wednesday was a motion to dismiss from the Office of Public Counsel, arguing that MAWC does not meet the statutory standard for an ISRS, since the county in which MAWC operates does not have more than one million inhabitants, which is required by law for the ISRS to apply.
MAWC argued that thanks to the passage of HB 451, it is eligible. That law would allow a city, county, or political subdivision that falls out of an assessed valuation to remain under that designation even if they fall under the required population.
The commission’s decision noted that the new law does not take effect until August 28, meaning it cannot be applied to that petition at this time. The PSC voted 5-0 to dismiss MAWC’s petition, meaning the company can refile their petition after the effective date of the new law.
The third tariff and new order concerned KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company’s request for authority to implement rate adjustments.
KCPL-GMO asked for the Commission’s approval of true-up amounts related to the company’s fuel adjustment clause (“FAC”), in particular, a true-up amount of $57,081 in over-recovery and $489,986 in accrued interest. GMO asked to increase its rates per kilowatt hour by $0.00225. For a residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, the tariff increases the FAC by approximately $2.31 per month.
That was approved 5-0.
The fourth and final order of the day was the joint application for extension of the territorial agreement between the City of Poplar Bluff and Ozark Border Electric Cooperative. This amendment extends the previous agreement by five years.
The commission said they had not heard any opposition to it at this time, and voted to approve the order 5-0.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.