FERC conditionally accepts non-conforming transmission service agreements for PacifiCorp

FERC on Feb. 17 conditionally accepted eight non-conforming transmission service agreements (TSAs) filed by PacificCorp for point-to-point transmission service (Docket No. ER12-647-000). The agreements do not conform to the company’s current open-access transmission tariff (OATT), but were revised to conform to the tariff as PacifiCorp has proposed amending the OATT in an open transmission rate case (Docket Nos. ER11-3643-000 and ER11-3643-001).

Among other things, the revisions change the start dates for service, prompting NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) to file a protest over plans to change the start date on an “inactive contractual agreement” it has for transmission service on the 230-kV line from Wallula, Wash. to McNary, Ore.

In its protest, NextEra said the agreement was contingent upon completion of the line, but that changing the in-service date to Jan. 1, 2012 as PacifiCorp had proposed “raises the possibility that PacifiCorp intends to start billing under [the agreement] on January 1, 2012 even though the McNary Line has not yet been built,” according to the ruling.

PacifiCorp responded that the start date for NextEra’s service remained contingent upon the completion of the McNary Line, that it would not bill NextEra for transmission services until the line was complete, and that the change in the service start date to Jan. 1, 2012, was “simply to match the date on which PacifiCorp would begin to charge transmission customers with active service agreements,” the order said.

FERC ruled that NextEra’s concerns were unwarranted, conditionally accepted the TSAs, and suspended them subject to refund and subject to the ongoing transmission rate case.