FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327
PUC moves forward with rulemaking
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously last week to proceed with the development of rules that will help define cases involving contracts for power production facility developers seeking to sell wholesale power as a qualified facility to a utility company. The action at the Jan. 27, 2014, meeting continues the PUC's rulemaking process for avoided cost determinations of qualifying facilities. The commission will specifically consider how to handle the creation of a legally enforceable obligation (LEO) in such cases.
The commissioners agreed that rules addressing the creation of an LEO are needed as part of the standards the commission looks to when administering the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The rulemaking docket was opened by the PUC in October 2013 and garnered 47 comments in its comment period that ended Jan. 10, 2014. The next phase refines the focus of the rulemaking to the LEO issue in particular.
"Defining the requirements of an LEO will simplify the process for producers who wish to establish a purchase power agreement with a utility," PUC Chairman Hanson said.
Commission Vice Chairman Chris Nelson concurred with Hanson's assessment. "The certainty that rules defining an LEO would provide would be advantageous to all parties involved in these cases," Nelson said.
As part of the rulemaking process, interested parties may submit comments describing what should be included in the rules.
"This is a stakeholder process," said Commissioner Kristie Fiegen. "I look forward to reading the input of utility companies, renewable energy providers and citizens."
Comments should be sent to email@example.com or PUC, 500 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501 by March 1, 2014, for consideration.
The complete docket can be found on the PUC's website. To view, go to www.puc.sd.gov . Click on "Commission Actions," "Commission Dockets," "Rulemaking Dockets," "2013 Rulemaking Dockets." The docket is titled "RM13-002 - In the Matter of the Consideration of Standards to Govern Avoided Cost Determinations."