Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

PSC Grants Limited Rehearing in Big Rivers Rate Case

BIG rIVERS 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (12/12/13) - The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will revisit a portion of its decision adjusting the revenue and rates of Big Rivers Electric Corp. to reflect the loss of the utility’s largest customer, the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville.

In an order issued today, the PSC granted rehearing on one of three issues raised by the other parties to the case. The parties (intervenors) seeking rehearing were the Kentucky Office of Attorney General, the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, Inc., and the Sierra Club. The intervenors contested three aspects of the PSC’s order:
* The treatment of depreciation expenses for the Coleman power plant, which Big Rivers plans to idle. The PSC order allowed Big Rivers to account for the expenses separately, but did not guarantee recovery of the expenses. The intervenors sought foreclosure of future recovery.
* Calculation of revenue Big Rivers will receive from the continued operation of the Coleman plant under orders from the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO), the regional transmission system operator to which Big Rivers belongs. MISO has ordered Coleman to remain operational to provide grid stability. The intervenors contend that Big Rivers understated the annual revenue it will receive for operating Coleman by about $12 million.
* Big Rivers’ plans to mitigate the rate impacts on its remaining customers by seeking new sources of revenue. The intervenors contend the PSC should have set specific guidelines for the plan and a deadline for assessing its success.

The PSC granted rehearing on the issue of revenue related to MISO-ordered operation of the Coleman plant, which is in Hawesville. It is the only issue that raised legally sufficient grounds for rehearing, the PSC said.

Depreciation expenses for the Coleman plant were discussed during the original hearing, with all parties having an opportunity to present their views on the issue, the PSC said. Similarly, the intervenors had the opportunity to address Big Rivers’ rate impact mitigation planning, but did not do so, the PSC said.

An opportunity to discuss the mitigation plan will come during the hearing on a second rate increase requested by Big Rivers, the PSC said. The hearing on that rate adjustment will take place next month, with a decision due later in 2014.

No date has been set for the rehearing of the first rate case.

On Oct. 29, the PSC authorized Big Rivers to receive an additional $54.2 million annually from its remaining customers. That was about $20 million less than the amount sought by Big Rivers. Although the total revenue for Big Rivers declined, rates for the remaining customers increased, although not by as much as the utility requested.

The PSC also approved pass-through rate increases for the three electric distribution cooperatives that own and purchase power from Big Rivers – Jackson Purchase Energy Cooperative, Kenergy Corp. and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. Together, the three cooperatives serve about 112,000 customers in 26 counties in western Kentucky. The remaining customers include about 20 large industrial facilities.

Although the rehearing proceeding could eventually affect the rate increases granted in the first rate case, it will not affect the second rate case, which was filed in June 2013 in response to the impending loss of Big Rivers’ second-largest customer, the Century Aluminum smelter in Sebree. The Sebree smelter accounts for about 40 percent of Big Rivers’ remaining load and is scheduled to depart the system in January.

Big Rivers and Kenergy recently filed an application with the PSC for approval of a power arrangement for the Century Aluminum Sebree smelter that is similar to the one negotiated for the Hawesville facility, which was approved by the PSC last summer. The arrangement will allow the smelter to purchase power at market-based rates rather than directly from Big Rivers.

Today’s order, video of the hearing and documents in the case are available on the PSC website. The case number is 2012-00535.

The Big Rivers application and other documents in the second rate case also may be found at psc.ky.gov. The case number is 2013-00199.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 90 employees.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Public Service Commission

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Faces & Stories: The People of Land Between the Lakes

In Other News...

Baptist Health Paducah Accepting Chaplain Applicants

PADUCAH, Ky. (10/31/14) — Baptist Health Paducah is accepting applicants now for the spring 2015 semester of its… Read More

UPDATE: Names Released: Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

UPDATE: GRAPEVINE, Ky. (10/31/14) — The names of the victims from Thursday's Grapevine Road rollover accident have been… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 31, 2014 11644

Son Charged with Murder of His Family, Kidnapping

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Dennis Thomas
October 27, 2014 6302

Earlington Woman Charged With Burglary for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 5085

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 29, 2014 4845

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 28, 2014 4552

UPDATE: 'Runner' Ran Home; Family Happy

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 27, 2014 4506

Baptist Health Madisonville Performs Baptist…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
October 31, 2014 4059

UPDATE: Names Released: Three Injured When Pickup…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 28, 2014 3830

UPDATE: Extended to Wednesday; Heaven's Gates and…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 28, 2014 3765

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 27, 2014 3524

Woman Charged for Domestic Assault with Scissors,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 31, 2014 11644

Son Charged with Murder of His Family, Kidnapping

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Dennis Thomas
October 31, 2014 4059

UPDATE: Names Released: Three Injured When Pickup…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 31, 2014 2266

Top Race Candidates Address Campaign Issues

in Hopkins News by SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 1457

Family Searching for Jake

in Hopkins News by Keith Curneal
October 31, 2014 1080

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
October 31, 2014 1030

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 31, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 31, 2014 963

Four Members of Muhlenberg EMS Team Awarded…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 908

Change in Hours for Baptist Health Care Center Go…

in General News For All Sites by Kristy J. Quinn
October 31, 2014 857

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 577

Large Crowd Turns Out for Annual Kiwanis BBQ

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss