Transource seeks prompt order for incentive rate treatments

Transource Missouri, a subsidiary of Transource Energy, has asked FERC for a swift decision without a hearing on the company’s Aug. 31 request for incentive rate treatments that would cover two transmission projects approved in Southwest Power Pool (SPP) territory.

In its Oct. 9 answer to comments filed by the Missouri Public Service Commission (MoPSC) in response to Transource’s request, Transource asked FERC to consider that interveners to the case did not submit any protests and to move forward to issue a prompt order granting the request. The company also asked FERC to accept Transource’s formula rate for filing, subject to a compliance filing that would make revisions suggested by MoPSC.

The formula rate would allow Transource to recover its investment in a 30-mile, 345-kV transmission line between Iatan, Mo., and Nashua, Mo., and a 175-mile, 345-kV transmission line between Sibley, Mo., and Nebraska City, Neb.

MoPSC, in its Sept. 21 comments on the filing, suggested that Transource’s request was premature because it “presupposes that MoPSC will grant a certificate of convenience and necessity to construct” the two transmission projects.

Transource argued in its response that the formula rate is applicable to all of the company’s future projects, and action on the request should not be delayed by the pending resolution of project-specific proceedings.

“Transmission project developers have routinely filed, and FERC has accepted, formula rates even before the project is approved by a regional planning process,” Transource said. “Hence, this filing … is not premature.”

Three companies filed as interveners without substantive comment to the Transource request.

In its filing on behalf of Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois, and Ameren Transmission of Illinois, Ameren (NYSE: AEE) said the transmission projects “at issue in the docket have been identified by SPP as potentially affecting the Ameren system,” and its interests could not be represented by another party.

A similar filing by MidAmerican Transmission, a wholly owned subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, said the company has a “substantial interest in the outcome of the proceedings,” as a result of its investments in transmission facilities in the Eastern and Western Interconnections.

East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) also submitted its interest as an intervener, noting that Transource “is seeking to establish formula rates, including several incentive rate adders, for planned and future transmission projects within the SPP region. Because the costs of the projects will be collected at least in part on a region-wide basis, the East Texas Cooperatives, as transmission customers and owners in SPP, have a direct interest in the outcome of this proceeding.”

While MoPSC filed comments to Transource’s request, it did not submit a notice of intervention.

“The MoPSC is not a party to this proceeding, and thus would not participate in a hearing or settlement,” Transource said in its filing. “Nonetheless, Transource is providing certain clarifications and proposing to adopt, in an appropriate compliance filing, several changes to the formula rate and implementation protocols to address concerns raised by the MoPSC.”

Transource Energy is a joint venture of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP).