Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

PSC Resets Public Input Sessions in Big Rivers Rate

PSC KYFRANKFORT, Ky. (12/12/13) - The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has rescheduled sessions at which members of the public will be able to provide comments on a request by Big Rivers Electric Corp. to increase rates.

A public meeting will be held on the evening of Monday, Dec. 16, in Henderson. A public comment session on Jan. 8, 2014, in Frankfort will be linked through video conference to sites in Owensboro, Paducah and Brandenburg.

The meeting and videoconference take the place of sessions originally scheduled for Dec. 10 that were postponed due to inclement weather.

The meeting in Henderson will begin with a presentation by PSC staff on the regulatory processes governing the case and an overview of the Big Rivers proposal. It will be followed by a public comment session with the members of the PSC.

The public comments will be recorded and will be available for viewing on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov.

The video conference in January will occur in conjunction with the evidentiary hearing in the case and will offer participants the opportunity to address the commission directly.

“We are sorry that we were unable to hold these public comment sessions as originally scheduled,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “However, the PSC is committed to offering ratepayers an opportunity to learn about the PSC’s ratemaking process and to make their views known to the commission.”

The Dec. 16 meeting in Henderson will be held in the Stagg Meeting Room of the Henderson Fine Arts Center on the campus of Henderson Community College, 2660 South Green Street. The public information session will begin at 5 p.m. CST, with public comments beginning no later than 6 p.m. CST.

For those unable to attend the meeting, a narrated slide presentation will be available on the PSC’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/kypsc , on Dec. 18.

The video conference public comment sessions on Jan. 8, 2014, will be held at 9 a.m. CST in Paducah and Owensboro and at 10 a.m. EST in Brandenburg. Locations will be announced at a later date.

Because Big Rivers provides power to an area extending from Meade County near Louisville to Ballard County on the Mississippi River, conducting simultaneous meetings by video conference is an efficient way to reach the entire service territory, Armstrong said.

Big Rivers supplies power to the retail customers of Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., Kenergy Corp., and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., and is owned by the three distribution cooperatives. Together, the three cooperatives serve about 112,000 customers in 26 counties in western Kentucky. The customers include about 20 large industrial facilities.

Big Rivers is seeking approval to adjust rates early next year in order to increase annual revenue by $70.4 million. That amount is to partially offset the loss of about $175 million in annual revenue that will occur when the Century Aluminum Co. smelter in Sebree ceases to be a customer at the end of January. The Sebree smelter accounts for about half of Big Rivers’ power sales and total revenue.

The $70.4 million is needed for Big Rivers to maintain financial stability and meet its debt obligations, the utility says. Big Rivers says it intends to offset the remaining revenue loss by idling electric power generating facilities and taking other steps to adjust for the loss of the Sebree smelter as a customer.

In its application, Big Rivers estimates that the rate changes will increase typical monthly residential bills by about $25 or $30 per month, or about 21.5 percent. The amount of increase will vary with electric consumption and with which of Big Rivers’ three distribution cooperatives serves the customer. Large industrial customers would see rates go up about 25 percent, the utility says.

However, Big Rivers is proposing to defer the impact of the rate increases by drawing on reserve funds established several years ago to offset rising rates. The utility estimates that the funds would postpone the rate increase for large industrial customers until July 2014 and for residential and small commercial customers until April 2015.

The current case follows a similar proceeding that stemmed from the departure of what was formerly Big Rivers’ largest customer, the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville. The Hawesville smelter ceased to be a Big Rivers customer in August and began purchasing power at market-based rates under contract terms approved by the PSC.

An order approving a rate adjustment that accounted for the loss of the revenue from the Hawesville smelter was issued by the PSC Oct. 29. The PSC has granted rehearing on one issue in that proceeding.

Big Rivers and Kenergy have filed with the PSC a contract that sets out the terms under which Century’s Sebree smelter would purchase market-based power rather than from the utility. That contract requires review and approval by the PSC in a separate proceeding before it can take effect. It is being considered concurrently with the rate case.

The Big Rivers application, the proposed Sebree smelter contract and related documents are available on the PSC website. The rate case number is 2013-00199. The smelter contract case is 2013-00413.

In addition to the public meetings, the PSC will conduct a formal evidentiary hearing in the case beginning at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The hearing, which is scheduled to last three days, will be held at the PSC offices at 211 Sower Blvd. in Frankfort. It will be open to the public and may be viewed live on the PSC website.

The hearing on the proposed contract for the Sebree smelter will be held Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

Written comments will be accepted through the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing. They may be mailed to the PSC at P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602, faxed to 502-564-9625, e-mailed from the PSC website or submitted in person at the public meetings or at the PSC offices.

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.

SurfKY TV

3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,347.65
+152.23 (0.89%)    
2 S&P 2,012.89
+18.24 (0.91%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,622.77
+56.63 (1.24%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Marshall County Family Wins $1,000 for College with Summer Reading

CALVERT CITY, Ky.(10/31/14) — A Marshall County family is getting a head start on saving for college after… Read More

Bond, Conditions Set for Central City Man Accused of Sexual Abuse of Teenager

LOGAN COUNTY, Ky. (10/30/14) — William Greenwood of Central City attended his first court appearance at 8:30 p.m.… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

October 29, 2014 9119

UPDATE: Medical Examiner's Official Report…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Dennis Thomas
October 27, 2014 6233

Earlington Woman Charged With Burglary for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 4520

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 27, 2014 4448

Baptist Health Madisonville Performs Baptist…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
October 29, 2014 4319

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 28, 2014 4319

UPDATE: 'Runner' Ran Home; Family Happy

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 28, 2014 3657

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

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 27, 2014 3455

Woman Charged for Domestic Assault with Scissors,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 28, 2014 3355

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 30, 2014 3106

Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Stories Trending Today

October 30, 2014 3106

Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 30, 2014 2660

UPDATE: Missing Elderly Couple Found

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chief William C. Crider
October 30, 2014 1819

Man Charged with Criminal Abuse of 2-Year-Old Girl

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Lt. Charles Young II
October 30, 2014 1741

Man Accused of Using Bass Guitar to Strike…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1456

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 30, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1321

Political Races Affecting Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1280

Man Charged for Criminal Trespassing at Cross…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1145

Bond, Conditions Set for Central City Man Accused…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1106

Golden Arches Added to City’s Eastern Skyline;…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1099

MCTI to Present 'Anne of Green Gables'

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, 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