The Public Service Co. of Colorado subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) on Feb. 24 asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a quick approval of Accion Group LLC to serve as an independent evaluator (IE) for the company’s potential development of new wind resources.
Public Service is currently evaluating the potential to develop and own new eligible energy resources. The applicable rule requires that “[t]he independent evaluator’s report shall be filed with the utility’s application for approval of the proposed new eligible energy resource.” Therefore, the IE needs to be approved by the commission and needs to develop its report prior to the filing of any application. The IE’s report will assess “whether the proposed new eligible energy resources can be constructed at a reasonable cost compared to the cost of similar eligible energy resources available in the market” and accompany Public Service’s application in this proceeding.
Accion has over thirty years of relevant experience and has been retained and participated in other commission proceedings, said the utility.
“Public Service respectfully requests a Commission decision on this Motion within 30 days of the filing date,” it said. “Time is of the essence given the extension of the production tax credit (‘PTC’) that was part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act (‘Act’) signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015. While the PTC has been extended for five years, its decline begins after December 31, 2016. Accordingly, there is time sensitivity if the Company is to pursue approval to develop and own wind resources and take advantage of the PTC for customers. Approval of the IE is the first step in the process.”