This Week in the PSC: November 15, 2018

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Public Service Commission moved precisely and swiftly through more than a dozen agenda items that ranged from fuel adjustment rates to tariffs to scheduling.

In a meeting that lasted roughly 40 minutes, the PSC moved through a total of 16 reports and new orders. They also went over their meeting schedule for the coming weeks — the PSC is taking a break next week for Thanksgiving but will be back on November 28, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

The PSC kicked off the meeting by unanimously approving an order for KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company to adjust the Renewable Energy Standard Rate Adjustment Mechanism (RESRAM) charge that currently appears as a separate item on the monthly electric bills of GMO customers. For a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity a month, the current RESRAM charge is $0.85 a month. Under this filing, that rate will drop to $0.83 a month, effective December 1, 2018.

Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company received unanimous approval for their 2018 Integrated Resource Plans. On August 30, 2018 the Staff of the Commission, the Office of the Public Counsel, the Missouri Department of Economic Development-Division of Energy, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People submitted reports identifying a number of alleged concerns and deficiencies regarding the IRP. Most of the concerns and deficiencies were addressed in an October 28, 2018 filing.

The PSC approved remedies to the alleged IRP deficiencies and concerns proposed in the Joint Filing and left it open for the two companies to further address any unresolved alleged deficiencies and concerns.

Kansas City Power & Light Company was also authorized to issue, during the period ending December 31, 2019, up to $1.9 billion of General Mortgage Bonds, which will take the form of six secured senior debt issuances with fixed interest rates equal to the current rate of interest on each series of corresponding underlying Senior Notes.

The PSC also unanimously approved the Empire District Electric Company’s request for three variances from the Commission’s rules regarding the 2019 IRP triennial compliance filing it will be required to make by April 1, 2019.

The first would require the company to collect primary data to update its market potential study. Empire contends its 2016 market potential study can be adequately updated without the considerable expense of collecting new primary data.

The second requires the company to forecast by cost-of-service class.Empire asks to be allowed to forecast by the seven revenue classes that it used for forecasts in its 2013 and 2016 IRP filings.

The third would require the company to use end-use information in its analysis of its industrial class. Empire indicates such end-use information is not available for its industrial class.

Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, Inc.’s new proposed tariff sheets reflecting changes in its Purchased Gas Adjustment was given unanimous approval. Those changes are a result of estimated changes in the cost of natural gas and as a result of changes in its Actual Cost Adjustment (“ACA”) factors. The tariff sheets have a November 19, 2018 effective date.

According to the filings, some Summitt customers could see between a $2.50 and $5.15 decrease in their monthly gas bill.

The PSC also approved four applications for designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier. Callabyte Technology, LLC, United Services, Inc., CO-MO COMM, INC., and Mercury Wireless Kansas, LLC were all given unanimous approval for their requests.

The PSC also approved an agreement in water and sewer rate cases filed by Branson Cedars Resort Utility Company, which authorizes the company to increase annual water and sewer operating revenues by approximately $17,000, effective for service on and after December 3, 2018.

An application filed by the court-appointed receiver for Ridge Creek Water Company, LLC and Ridge Creek Development Company, LLC which sought Commission authority to sell its water system to the City of St. Robert, was given unanimous approval by the PSC.

The PSC approved a request filed by The Empire District Electric Company (Empire) to change the fuel adjustment charge (FAC) on the monthly bills of its electric customers.

As a result of this filing, the FAC for a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (kilowatt- hours) of electricity a month will decrease by approximately $8.45 a month. The change is expected to take effect on December 1, 2018.

Several hearings were also scheduled during the Thursday morning meeting.

Formal evidentiary hearings are scheduled for February 7-8, 2019, in a case filed by Union Electric Company, doing business as Ameren Missouri, involving rate charge changes.

Formal evidentiary hearings will be held February 19-22, 2019, in a case filed by Union Electric Company, doing business as Ameren Missouri, seeking PSC authority and a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own and operate an approximate 157 megawatt wind generation facility in Atchison County.

Formal evidentiary hearings will be held March 5-7, 2019, in a request filed by The Empire District Electric Company. Empire is seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) authorizing it to acquire an interest in two holding companies that own the companies that will be constructing and installing two wind projects-Kings Point and North Fork Ridge-each comprising approximately 150 megawatts of wind generation. Empire also seeks authorization to own, operate, maintain and manage the two wind projects which would be constructed in the Missouri counties of Barton, Dade, Jasper and Lawrence.

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.