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

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.

In Other News...

Owensboro Police Respond to Report of Suspicious Package

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/30/14) — A 'suspicious package' delivered via UPS to Fifth Third Bank at the corner of Frederica and… Read More

Child Injured, Man Charged With DUI in Two-Vehicle Crash

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/30/14) — A 4-year-old child was taken to Owensboro Health for treatment following a two-vehicle… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 30, 2014 3614

Three Arrested in Muhlenberg as Part of…

in Top Stories by GPD Officer Wes Miller
July 28, 2014 3448

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 30, 2014 3224

UPDATE: Waide Responds to Allegations of…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 28, 2014 3015

Madisonville Man Arrested for Endangering…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 2551

Disagreement Over Killing Snake in House…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 28, 2014 3448

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 3015

Madisonville Man Arrested for Endangering…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 2551

Disagreement Over Killing Snake in House…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 30, 2014 1765

Murder Charges Filed in Death of Hanson…

in Top Stories by Det. Jonathon Barnes
July 28, 2014 1732

Madisonville Man Arrested for Assault,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 28, 2014 1193

Zuberer Takes Over at Quarterback for…

in News by Steve LeMaster
July 28, 2014 1054

Dont Miss Out on a Howl of a Good Time

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 28, 2014 930

Instant Admissions Day is Aug. 1, 2014

in News by Bernie Hale
July 29, 2014 754

Happenings and Meetings - Daviess County

in News by Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau
July 28, 2014 457

Prosecutors Mull Over Whether to Charge…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 30, 2014 3614

Three Arrested in Muhlenberg as Part of…

in Top Stories by GPD Officer Wes Miller
July 30, 2014 2268

UPDATE: Muhlenberg Man, Woman Arrested in…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
July 28, 2014 1443

Foot Pursuit Ends with Arrest

in Top Stories by Christopher Rogers
July 29, 2014 1367

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 1351

Boys of Broad to Launch Video at Cinema 4

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03