Golden Spread works on Texas approval of merger plan

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative Inc. (GSEC) is shooting for a June 13 meeting for the Public Utility Commission of Texas to review its application to merge with several affiliated companies, with Golden Spread to be the surviving company.

On May 16, Golden Spread filed with the PUC a proposed approval order for this merger. The proposed order addresses the application of Golden Spread and certain entities that Golden Spread owns or controls approval of their merger, with Golden Spread as the sole surviving entity. Commission staff has recommended approval of the application and Southwestern Public Service Co. has intervened in the case but also has offered no objection, Golden Spread noted.

The entities that Golden Spread wants to merge with are Antelope Electric Generating Cooperative Inc., Yoakum Electric Generating Cooperative Inc., GS Electric Generating Cooperative Inc., Denver City Energy Associates LP, LSP-Denver City LLC, Quixx Mustang Station LLC, GPP Investors I LLC and Great Point Power Denver City LP LLC.

These entities control various power plants with a total net summer dependable capacity of 1,122 MW.  Applicants do not own any power generation facilities in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), with the capacity only in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The total installed generation capacity located in or capable of delivering electricity to the SPP is 65,035 MW, the proposed order noted. Following the closing of the proposed merger, the total amount of installed capacity that will be owned by Golden Spread in the SPP will be 11.73%, less than the 20% limitation required by the Texas Public Utility Regulatory Act.

Golden Spread noted in its March 1 merger application that it is in the process of installing a 152-MW (nominal) gas-fired turbine facility in Yoakum County, Tex., known as Mustang Station Unit M6, which is expected to be completed in late spring of 2013.

Southwestern Public Service (SPS), in its March 12 intervention request, said: “SPS is affected by the relief sought in GSEC’s Application. SPS is a retail customer of three distribution cooperative members of GSEC, Bailey County Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., Greenbelt Electric Cooperative, Inc., and Lamb County Electric Cooperative, Inc., all of whom obtain power and energy from GSEC and the facilities that are the subject of this docket. In addition, SPS sells wholesale electric power to GSEC and participates in the SPP along with GSEC. GSEC’s proposed consolidation of generation capacity could impact the SPP wholesale market in which SPS participates and ultimately affect SPS’s cost of energy purchases, which would be borne by SPS’s ratepayers. Moreover, as a retail customer of several GSEC member cooperatives, SPS may be affected as a retail ratepayer by the requested relief. Accordingly, SPS has a justiciable interest that may be affected by the outcome of this proceeding and seeks to intervene to protect that interest.”

“Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a tax-exempt, consumer-owned public utility, organized in 1984 to provide low cost, reliable electric service for its rural distribution cooperative members,” said the cooperative’s website. “Its 16 member systems serve more than 185,000 retail consumers located in the Oklahoma Panhandle and an area covering 24 percent of Texas land area including the Panhandle, South Plains and Edwards Plateau Regions.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.