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PSC to consider Ameren Illinois transmission line

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is set to consider a request from Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) for permission to construct a transmission line running through Missouri.

ATXI applied for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, operate, and maintain a transmission line running through Perry and Cape Girardeau counties. Commission Staff and ATXI submitted a proposed procedural schedule, setting hearings and briefs from August through November to be held remotely due to the pandemic. The PSC approved the schedule during this week’s agenda meeting. 

Fidelity Cablevision, LLC was granted expanded designation as an Eligible Communications Carrier (ETC). Fidelity is taking part in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefits Program, providing a monthly discount of up to $50 for households struggling to afford internet costs during the pandemic. The program is set to end when it runs out of funds or six months after the federal government declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency. 

The commission also considered Liberty Missouri’s application for a CCN to construct and operate a water and sewer system in Bolivar. Liberty asked the commission to weigh creating a ratemaking base for the system — either based on an appraisal or the purchase price of the project depending on its status as a “large” utility. 

Originally, the cases were filed separately but were consolidated by the PSC. Commission Staff argued the designation applied to companies providing more than 8,000 customers water or sewer service in a certain area, while Liberty serves around 8,000 customers in Bolivar with both operations combined. Liberty contended state statute did not prohibit the consolidation of the two services. 

Commissioners sided with Staff’s argument and denied Liberty’s request to be considered a large utility. The case is being considered in hearings scheduled through Aug. 12.

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for July 28.