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

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 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 on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 16,374.76
+23.38 (0.14%)    
2 S&P 1,951.13
+2.27 (0.12%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,733.50
-16.48 (-0.35%)    

Stock Report Sponsored by

In Other News...

Fiscal Court Approves Slight Tax Hike

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (9/2/15) — Hopkins County property owners will see a slight tax increase on their next bills.… Read More

July’s FNL Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/3/15) — When is Friday Night Live not on the second Friday of June, July or August? That happens… Read More

Most Read This Week

August 31, 2015 6788

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 5977

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
August 30, 2015 3985

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 3134

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 2633

Kentucky State Park Camping Deal Offered in…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 19480

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 12189

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 02, 2015 5977

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
September 02, 2015 3134

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2524

UPDATE: Missing Teen Located

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2353

Woman Allegedly Passed Out at Wheel Charged with…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1919

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - September 2, 2015

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1227

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1167

Gov. Beshear's Statement on County Clerks,…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1115

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1038

Blood Drive Boosts Blood Bank Deposits

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1029

GPD Conducting Safety Checkpoints

by SurfKY News