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PSC considers response to new federal regulations 

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is reviewing its practices following an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

The commission opened a case to consider its response to a regulation issued by FERC late last year. The order removed barriers to distributed energy resource aggregators’ participation in markets operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs). The new regulations changed its definition of distributed energy resources (DERs) and prohibited RTOs from limiting the types of technology that can take part. 

The PSC requested feedback from Missouri utilities and stakeholders on how to implement the changes and to review its current practices during this week’s agenda meeting. Responses are due by March 31, and Staff is to file a report on the feedback by April 30.

The commission issued two orders in a complaint case alleging a breach in a prior commission order granted to Grain Belt Express LLC. A motion to compel internal correspondence from Grain Belt on its project was granted in part, with information relevant to the project approved for disclosure while other documents regarding third parties are to remain under wraps.

Both parties in the case also filed to suspend its procedural schedule to allow for the complainants’ motion to compel to go through. Given that the previous request was partially approved, the commission instead modified the schedule to run from March 11 to April 16.

Evergy Metro and Evergy West filed to implement tariffs creating a transportation electrification pilot program. The companies requested approval of their proposed Clean Charge Network expansion plan and the ability to defer costs associated with it. The commission requested other parties apply to intervene in the case by March 19.

Missouri-American Water Company’s application to purchase the sewer assets of the City of Trimble system was approved this week. Missouri-American was already granted certificates of convenience and necessity (CCNs) to maintain sewer systems in surrounding areas, and the commission found that there was a need for its services and that it was economically feasible. 

Missouri-American was also approved for a CCN to install and operate a water system in part of Stone County. Under the application, all of the unregulated water systems will be acquired, with Missouri-American taking over for the area’s 39 customers. 

In all, the commission tackled 19 agenda items during this week’s meeting. Other orders include:

  • Opening a case to examine the effect of last week’s winter storms on investor-owned utilities
  • Dismissing a complaint against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, which is outside of its jurisdiction
  • Ending Spire Missouri’s actual cost adjustment (ACA) balance
  • Granting PD Fiber and Conexon Connect’s applications for designation as eligible telecommunications carriers
  • Expanding Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company, Callabyte Technology, Co-Mo Comm, and GoSEMO LLC’s designation as eligible telecommunications carriers after the companies received a federal grant to expand their broadband services

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for March 3. The commission plans to continue meeting virtually for the foreseeable future.