This Week in the Missouri PSC: June 27, 2018

  

Commission sets hearing dates for Ameren’s MEEIA programs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Nine tariffs and new orders were the sources of discussion in the latest agenda meeting of the Missouri Public Service Commission, though it took little time to roll through all of them.

The first order approved granted a variance request to telecommunication carriers. On June 12, the PSC staff filed a motion asking for additional time for those carriers to submit certain information, which they followed with another request later, which dealt with the fact that the FCC no longer requires the carriers to file duplicate forms of the From 481 federal report, as they can be found online now. The commission approved the variance, waiving the requirement for the carriers to file duplicate reports.

Perhaps the biggest news from the meeting was the commission signing off on a stipulation and agreement dealing with Ameren Missouri’s 2017 tariff for their Renewable Choice Program, which is a renewable energy subscription-based program.

The new program, approved by the PSC, is a way for large commercial and industrial customers as well as municipalities of any size to receive up to 100 percent of their energy from clean, renewable resources, the first of its kind in Missouri.

“The Renewable Choice Program is a great option for business and municipal customers to increase their renewable energy use,” said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. “We know customers across Missouri are looking for more choices, control and greater flexibility. This program is one of the ways Ameren Missouri is meeting those needs.”

Today’s action by the PSC would allow Ameren Missouri to acquire ownership of up to 200 additional megawatts of new renewable energy generation after securing commitments from customers for their renewable energy needs.  This filing also allows Ameren Missouri to purchase through power supply agreements an additional 200 megawatts of renewable energy generation to serve customers.

“Like Ameren Missouri, businesses and municipalities across the state have established renewable energy goals. This program demonstrates our commitment to our customers,” said Ajay Arora, vice president of power operations and energy management at Ameren Missouri.

Chairman Daniel Hall made a note that under the stipulation, the costs would be covered by program revenue, which he said proved it was not an attempt to generate profits by the company, but instead respond to growing customer desires for clean energy.

The second order approved by the commission dealt with the opening of a working case regarding a review of their rules on electric and natural gas utility promotional practices.

Hall stated that this was brought about by the mandate from ex-Gov. Eric Greitens, which required all departments to look at their rules and see how to streamline processes. Hall said this review dealt with the consolidating of two rules into one, and that the order asks that interested stakeholders enter their comments by July 27.

The commission also approved an order allowing the transferral of assets from the Public Funding Corporation of the City of Ozark to the City of Ozark, with the order carrying an effective date of July 27.

The PSC also ruled that Ameren Missouri would not have to supply additional information in regard to concerns or deficiencies with their Integrated Resource Plan, saying the plan had complied with the rules.

They also approved procedural schedules dealing with Ameren Missouri’s Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 MEEIA programs, setting hearing dates for Oct. 1 and Oct. 2-5, respectively,

The final order of the day concerned Missouri-American Water Company’s revised tariff sheet.  The company proposed updating a mathematical formula for calculating taxes on contributions in aid of construction made to Missouri-American, which could have a significant impact on property developers and construction companies, so the commission is opening a working case and scheduling a workshop meeting to b held on July 19 at 10 a.m.

Next week, the PSC is not scheduled to meet, as the 4th of July holiday falls on the normally Wednesday scheduled agenda meetings.

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.