CPUC dismisses Nevada Hydro’s CPCN application for 500-kV line

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in a 5-0 vote on May 24 adopted an administrative law judge recommendation to dismiss Nevada Hydro’s CPCN application for the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano transmission project.

ALJ Angela Minkin on April 3 said the independent transmission developer’s application was incomplete and did not conform to the CPUC’s requirements.

The decision to approve the ALJ recommendation did not contain any changes or revisions, a CPUC spokesperson told TransmissionHub May 25. 

Despite the decision, the CPUC said it still supported independent transmission development.

“On the one hand, we acknowledge that Nevada Hydro has had multiple opportunities to prepare a complete and sufficient application. On the other hand, there may be savings for ratepayers if competent independent transmission owners receive a CPCN,” the CPUC said in the document.

Nevada Hydro did not return a request for comment as of press time.

Among the reasons the CPUC listed for dismissing the application were that Nevada Hydro’s financing plan and project description remained “vague and speculative” and that it has taken too much time for the company to complete its application. Nevada Hydro had requested a 90-day stay in the proceeding to replace certain testimony regarding the financial viability of the project.

The CPUC dismissed the application without prejudice but outlined several conditions for Nevada Hydro to meet before re-filing its application.

A source familiar with the situation told TransmissionHub in April that the process of reapplying would not be that difficult because the company has met “most” of the CPUC’s conditions. 

To be considered complete, the application must:

*   ensure that the financial viability of the project is clear and that any financial partner’s participation is transparent, as well as the financial viability of the project and proponent’s ability to support the project;

*   include complete testimony from expert witnesses. Because the application must be complete, parties must be able to rely on the proffered experts and their testimony;

*   provide an accurate and stable project description and location and the Energy Division must not accept the PEA as complete without such a description;

*   explain how the Cal-ISO is currently considering the project and include a full discussion of how revenue requirements will be calculated and recovered through the transmission access charge, as well as the impact on California ratepayers;

*   comply fully with the requirements of the public utility code, the rules of practice and procedure, must fully demonstrate the proposed project’s need, and must comply with the detailed requirements to provide a cost control plan, implementation plan, and project management plan.

The TE/VS 500-kV transmission line would have a nominal design capacity of 1,000 MW and provide a transmission interconnection from the proposed Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) hydroelectric energy storage facility to the transmission systems of Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

SCE is a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX).

SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE).

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.