That’s the essence of what Xcel Energy wants, the increases in its rate tariff.
We’ve got a problem, because in 2005, in the Ch. 97 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell, strenuously promoted and pushed by Bill Grant of Izaak Walton League (now in Commerce and George Crocker of North American Water Office, together with other transmission signatories MCEA and Fresh Energy, we got screwed and Xcel got everything they ever wanted. In addition to authorization of transmission only companies, and rate recovery for construction work in progress, this law included automatic cost recovery for transmission:
This has been in PUC dockets ever since that 2005 bill. To look at the dockets, go to “Search Dockets” by clicking HERE. Then search for docket numbers 12-50 (at PUC 12/19); for for prior years, 10-1064 (see comments of MN Chamber and Xcel Large Industrials); 09-1048; 08-1284; 07-1156; 06-1505. I’ll have more on this as time allows. But suffice it to say, it’s a mess. In one of the dockets, there was a folding into the current rate case order, but I need to find more info on that. That this stuff is going forward, and not being taken into account in standard rate case proceedings is so wrong, and there’s no on on this but the MN Chamber of Commerce, and the Xcel Large Industrials. Where’s the public interest in this, partricularly after the funded “environmental” organizations sold us down the river on this. What a headache.
Here’s Xcel’s Initial Filing 20121-70282-01 for this year.
No one has made any comments on this docket… surprise, surprise…
Here’s the relevant section:
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the commission may approve a tariff mechanism for the automatic annual adjustment of charges for the Minnesota jurisdictional costs net of associated revenues of:
(i) new transmission facilities that have been separately filed and reviewed and approved by the commission under section 216B.243 or are certified as a priority project or deemed to be a priority transmission project under section 216B.2425;
(ii) new transmission facilities approved by the regulatory commission of the state in which the new transmission facilities are to be constructed, to the extent approval is required by the laws of that state, and determined by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator to benefit the utility or integrated transmission system; and
(iii) charges incurred by a utility under a federally approved tariff that accrue from other transmission owners’ regionally planned transmission projects that have been determined by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator to benefit the utility or integrated transmission system.
(1) allows the utility to recover on a timely basis the costs net of revenues of facilities approved under section 216B.243 or certified or deemed to be certified under section 216B.2425 or exempt from the requirements of section 216B.243;
(2) allows the utility to recover charges incurred under a federally approved tariff that accrue from other transmission owners’ regionally planned transmission projects that have been determined by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator to benefit the utility or integrated transmission system. These charges must be reduced or offset by revenues received by the utility and by amounts the utility charges to other regional transmission owners, to the extent those revenues and charges have not been otherwise offset;
(3) allows the utility to recover on a timely basis the costs net of revenues of facilities approved by the regulatory commission of the state in which the new transmission facilities are to be constructed and determined by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator to benefit the utility or integrated transmission system;
(5) provides a current return on construction work in progress, provided that recovery from Minnesota retail customers for the allowance for funds used during construction is not sought through any other mechanism;
(d) Upon receiving a filing for a rate adjustment pursuant to the tariff established in paragraph (b), the commission shall approve the annual rate adjustments provided that, after notice and comment, the costs included for recovery through the tariff were or are expected to be prudently incurred and achieve transmission system improvements at the lowest feasible and prudent cost to ratepayers.
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