Oregon PUC approves transfer of certain PacifiCorp transmission assets to Navajo authority

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved the transfer of certain electric transmission assets located on tribal land in Utah to the Navajo Tribal Authority.

The PUC formally adopted a staff recommendation to approve the sale in a July 5 order.

PacifiCorp, which is a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company, has provided service to certain customers located within a portion of the Nation in San Juan County, Utah for many years. The service was provided with the consent of the Navajo Nation pursuant to applicable tariffs and regulations.

The electric utility currently serves 1,045 customers located with the Navajo Nation, using almost 30 miles (29.79 miles) of transmission lines, 335 miles of distribution lines and four substations.

Only the transmission assets, for which PacifiCorp will receive more than $145,000 under the agreement, are system-allocated (which includes more than $37,000 on an Oregon allocated basis).

The assets to be transferred include the San Juan-Red Rock 69-kV line, the San Juan-Montezuma 69-kV line, Anneth Tap 69KV, White Mesa Tap 69 KV, Superior Oil Tap 69 KV Tap to McElmo and Anneth Switch rack.

These power line assets are currently used by the company to provide retail electric service to customer s within the Nation, including a single large industrial customer, and a small number of customers on adjacent land.

After the sale, the assets will be used by NTUA to serve the same customers. PacifiCorp says the sale of its assets will not interfere with the company’s ability to provide reliable service to its customers after the effective date of the transfer.

In response to an inquiry from Oregon PUC staff, PacifiCorp said it was using a valuation method stipulated in a 1959 “letter agreement” with the Navajo Nation. “NTUA and PacifiCorp have negotiated the sale of these assets over a number of years. Further, NTUA will pay for all costs associated with the sale,” according to DOE material.

The PUC approved the sale with staff’s recommended conditions. The final journal entry recording the transaction is due to be submitted to the PUC within 60 days.

The Oregon PUC case is outlined in Docket No. UP 337.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3263 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.