FERC Grants tucson electric 50% recovery of costs of abandoned transmission project
On May 31, 2019, in ER19-2023, Tucson Electric filed, pursuant to sections 205 and 219 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and part 35 of the Commission’s regulations, a request to recover in rates 100 percent of the prudently-incurred costs that it incurred associated with the development of a 345 kV transmission line between Sahuarita and Nogales, Arizona (Nogales Project), which was ultimately abandoned. Tucson Electric states that, at a minimum, it is eligible to recover 50 percent of the prudently incurred costs associated with the Nogales Project. In its Order dated September 19, 2019, FERC denied Tucson Electric’s request for 100 percent recovery of prudently incurred costs associated with the Nogales Project and granted Tucson Electric’s request for 50 percent recovery, consistent with Opinion 295. FERC accepted and suspended the filing for a nominal period, effective August 1, 2019, subject to refund, and set for hearing and settlement judge procedures the types and level of prudently incurred costs and the appropriate amortization period. FERC denied Tucson Electric request for 100 percent abandoned plant cost recovery on a retroactive basis and many years after it incurred the costs (mostly prior to 2005) and abandoned the project (2014). Tucson Electric developed the Nogales Project (and incurred the associated costs) not only prior to its submittal of the Abandonment Incentive application, but also largely prior to the enactment of section 219 of the FPA and the issuance of Order No. 679.
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Dr. Paul Dumais
CEO of Dumais Consulting with expertise in FERC regulatory matters, including transmission formula rates, reactive power and more.