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PSC sides with Evergy over handling of renewable energy credits

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a report maintaining Evergy Missouri West “did not act imprudently” when it allowed some renewable energy credits (RECs) to expire rather than sell them. 

Evergy — which was Kansas City Power & Light Company before it merged with Westar Energy — said it did not sell any RECs during the review period of December 31, 2016, through May 31, 2018, during a prudence review of the costs and revenues associated with its fuel adjustment clause. Revenue from the sale of RECs can be returned to customers. 

But the PSC, during its weekly agenda meeting Wednesday, said the average residential customer would have only seen a decrease of about $0.02 on bills. 

“The evidence clearly demonstrates that by not selling the RECs, the company could promote the energy as a renewable energy resource,” PSC Chairman Ryan Silvey said. “It helped the company show customers that over 20 percent of Evergy Missouri West’s power comes from renewable resources.” 

Commissioner Bill Kenney reiterated Evergy “did not violate any tariff provisions” and acted “within the best interest of their customers.” 

Commissioners unanimously approved Summit Natural Gas’ application for a waiver from a depreciation study and notice every five years with its general rate case. Summit will still be providing a non-statistical depreciation review, database, and property unit catalog upon submission of a general rate increase, Silvey noted. 

In its request, Summit said its assets are still “relatively new for a gas utility property.” 

“For this reason, [Summit] does not have a sufficient amount of historical plant information to utilize in performing a depreciation study,” it said. “Given the lack of company-specific historical information, the completion of a depreciation study would add expense without any corresponding benefit to [Summit] or its customers. It will likely be another 10 years before [Summit] has sufficient historical plant information to properly perform a company-specific depreciation study.” 

Additionally Wednesday, the PSC unanimously approved an order regarding Spire Missouri’s purchased gas/actual cost adjustment filing for its east and west operating units. In the order, Staff had recommended the rates be approved on an interim basis. 

The PSC also approved Spire’s compliance tariff sheets regarding its Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) recovery in its east and west service territories. The tariff sheets will go into effect on Nov. 16. 

The commission approved a request from Ameren for a variance of certain provisions regarding its integrated resource plan filing. There were no objections or responses to the request; the PSC approved it in a 4-0 vote. 

Commissioners also unanimously dismissed a case Claude Scott brought against Ameren earlier this year.