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This Week in the PSC: October 17, 2019

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Ameren Missouri’s plan to bring more electric vehicle charging stations within its service territory was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) Thursday. 

The five member commission approved the stipulation and agreement order for three types of charging stations during its weekly agenda meeting in a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Scott Rupp the lone dissenting vote. The pilot program will begin at the start of January and will continue for three years with an opportunity for renewal. 

Ameren had originally requested four sub-programs for its “Charge Ahead” plan: corridor, multi-family, public, and workplace charging. In February, the commission only approved the corridor charging part and opened a working group to examine the other three. 

The stipulation and agreement for the other three programs, approved Thursday, included a $6.6 million budget with incentive caps and other rules. It said Ameren will allocate a maximum of $6 million for incentives and $600,000 for administrative and marketing costs. 

“More and more electric vehicles are revving up on roads across Missouri. Now is the time to invest in the critical infrastructure to support this trend,” Pat Justis, Ameren Missouri manager of efficient electrification development, said in a statement. “Bringing more charging stations across our area will help increase adoption of electric vehicles and that means a cleaner and brighter energy future for our customers.”

Ameren said the program would include stations for local and long distance traveling. For the local portion, Ameren will provide financial support for businesses, multi-family residences, and public areas to install charging stations with the expectation it will create 1,000 at 350 places. 

With long distance, Ameren plans to open 11 charging stations located near highways. Stations are planned in Jefferson City and Osage Beach. 

Additionally Thursday, the PSC unanimously approved an order overturning North American Number Plan Administrator’s (NANPA) denial to Verizon, which had requested 200 consecutive numbers in the Troy rate center to service Mercy Hospital Lincoln. 

In August, the commission overturned NANPA’s denial of Verizon’s request for contiguous numbers to service Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Festus. 

The PSC also approved a controversial accounting authority order in a 4-1 vote Thursday requiring Evergy to set up a regulatory liability account for revenue and returns from an old coal plant it has retired. What to do with that money will be decided in a future rate case.

The plant, located in Sibley, is operated by Kansas City Power and Light Company (KCP&L) Greater Missouri Operations (GMO). As KCP&L merged with Westar Energy earlier this month, the plant falls under the Evergy umbrella. 

Evergy had objected to the accounting authority order, warning it would deter investors in Missouri and have financial ramifications.

Commissioner Bill Kenney was the lone dissenting vote Thursday.