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This Week in the PSC: September 11, 2019

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) again gave the greenlight to Invenergy’s acquisition of the Grain Belt Express Line LLC, with the approval of an amended order. 

The amended order is an attempt to clarify questions or concerns brought up by other parties after the original order was approved in June. The Grain Belt project — which has raised eminent domain concerns — is a proposed massive wind energy project spanning across eight counties in Missouri. 

“I think our intentions were clear in the original report and order, and this just clarifies it,” Commissioner William Kenney said. 

A certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for Timber Creek Sewer Company to control a system for a single residence that has not yet been constructed in Clay County was granted unanimously by the PSC Wednesday as well. The system is an expansion of an existing service area.

The PSC approved a notice with a 4-1 vote acknowledging it has received Ameren’s 2017 integrated resource plan (IRP) regarding its triennial compliance filing update. While no additional action is necessary, commissioners suggested Ameren respond to comments filed for the company’s 2020 IRP. 

Commissioner Daniel Hall voted against the notice, saying Ameren didn’t discuss or provide enough information regarding some issues requested by the commission. 

“While I congratulate Ameren on the general movement in its IRP process, I think that this annual report should have been more focused on those issues. For that reason, I’m going to vote no on this order,” Hall said. 

Commissioner Scott Rupp agreed with Hall’s sentiments — although he voted for the notice — but said he hoped Ameren officials took the comments “to heart” and would provide “more robust” information as requested by the PSC in the future. 

The commission approved an order resolving Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) Company’s annual fuel adjustment clause (FAC) true-up and tariff sheet from Recovery Period 5. KCP&L had reported an overcollection of nearly $840,000 which will be reflected in its proposed adjustment to its FAC. PSC Chairman Ryan Silvey noted the result should be a decrease in the average customer’s bill.  

The order also approved an interim rate adjustment — subject to true-up and prudence reviews — effective Oct. 1. 

Ameren, too, acknowledged an overcollection in its annual FAC true-up and tariff sheet filed with the PSC that will ultimately save customers money when it is reflected in the rate adjustment. The order approving the true-up amounts for Recovery Period 28 and the interim rate adjustment becoming effective Sept. 24 was given the greenlight. 

Additionally, the PSC heard a presentation from KCP&L and Webstar regarding the Evergy rebranding

“Usually there’s a lot of employee resistance, and while most employees, if you ask them, didn’t want to change their name on either side, but they’ve really embraced the new brand,” a representative said. “They’re really looking forward to the day that we’re changing over which is surprising. Usually you see a lot more resistance than we’re seeing right now.”