This Week in the Missouri PSC: June 13, 2018

  

PSC delays order on Ameren pilot solar program due to concerns and questions of functionality

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Public Service Commission continues moving forward in their effort to revise and rescind rules that are outdated or in need of improvement.

In the latest meeting of the PSC, the commission approved an order that would send proposed rule changes to the Secretary of State’s Office for publication, which dealt with consolidating filing requirements. The commission approved the order with a 5-0 vote to start the process.

The commission on Wednesday also voted 5-0 to approve the establishment of a working case and group to deal with a rewrite of Spire’s cost allocation manual and standards of conduct, a result of Spire’s recent general rate case.

“This is clearly necessary in light of the corporate restructuring going on,” Chairman Daniel Hall said.

The third order of the day dealt with Ameren’s application for approval for a CCN for a pilot solar program, which the commissioners had some questions about.

Hall wanted a summary of how the program would work, saying it wasn’t crystal clear.

“They’re not paying for the energy and this product, it would replace the energy purchase?” he asked, which he was informed would be the case, essentially rebuilding at the new rate.

Commissioner Scott Rupp said the company would be marketing to people who can’t put solar on their homes but want to use solar.

Commissioner Ryan Silvey questioned what would happen if the cost of generating solar went down, and after so many questions regarding the issue, the commission agreed that the order should be withdrawn and a revised stipulation should be presented in the following week.

The PSC also established a proposed procedural schedule in Liberty Utilities’ rate increase request, setting an evidentiary hearing in the middle of August.

The final order of the day dealt with Ameren’s request for a line CCN to construct a wind generation facility.

The proposed schedule was not opposed, but local public hearings still need to be set. Judge Morris Woodruff said they are looking at August for those.

Hall had one amendment to the order, which he distributed. Each party would file a summary on the issue, and Hall wanted each party to provide their position statements that set forth specific citations in written testimony to support it. He said he thought that putting that in each procedural schedule, it would make things easier. The commissioners agreed it would be very helpful going forward and approved it 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 benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.