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PSC progresses cold snap complaint cases

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved procedural schedules for two complaint cases against Spire Missouri over February’s cold snap Wednesday.

Constellation Energy, a Maryland-based natural gas provider, filed a complaint regarding Spire’s assessment of $35 million in Operation Flow Order (OFO) penalties regarding its handling of the winter weather event. Constellation proposed a procedural schedule from September through February, noting the complexity of the case and the amount of money at stake.

A similar scheduling request from Texas-based Symmetry Energy Solutions, seeking its own complaint case against Spire over the same issue beginning in November. 

Spire argued against both proposals and requested an expedited schedule in order to meet its November actual cost adjustment (ACA) deadline. Despite Spire’s objections, both schedules were approved during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. 

Spire has grappled with complaints from providers over the past month; a similar case leveled by provider Clearwater Energy Services was approved to move forward last week after Spire filed a motion to dismiss. Similar motions to dismiss Constellation and Symmetry’s complaints were denied in May

Winter storms struck the midwest in February, impacting everything from vaccine distribution to the legislature and forcing companies to initiate rolling blackouts. Spire and other investor-owned utilities have been considering ways to mitigate the impact of the event on customers by spreading the cost over the next few years. 

The commission also closed the file on Empire District Electric Company’s 2020 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Compliance Report. Empire initially filed its report in April and submitted a revised version the following month. After consideration from Staff and with no further comments from other stakeholders, the commission voted to close the file on the filing. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for June 30. Some commissioners returned to Jefferson City beginning last month to convene in person after more than a year of remote meetings.