WUTC Lowers PacifiCorp Rate Increase

On March 25, 2015, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Washington Commission) denied PacifiCorp’s $27.2 million (8.5% average) rate increase, and instead authorized the utility to increase rates $9.6 million (3.0% average). In reducing PacifiCorp’s proposed rate increase, the Washington Commission rejected a number of PacifiCorp’s efforts to re-litigate issues from the utility’s last general rate case that are currently being appealed to the Washington courts, denied recovery of deferred costs, and ordered the utility to file a power cost adjustment mechanism.   [Read more…]

New PacifiCorp Oregon Direct Access Tariff

On February 24, 2015, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued an order approving PacifiCorp’s five-year direct access opt-out tariff. All other parties to the case, including the Commission Staff, commercial and industrial customers, independent power producers, and energy marketers opposed PacifiCorp’s proposal and supported an alternative five-year opt-out tariff. The five-year opt-out tariff was intended to provide PacifiCorp’s Oregon direct access eligible customers with a realistic opportunity to purchase power from non-utility energy marketers. The order, however, will likely maintain the status quo with minimal participation in PacifiCorp’s direct access program.    [Read more…]

OPUC Rejects Avista Rate Case Settlement

On February 23, 2015, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) took the unusual step of rejecting an all-party settlement in Avista’s general rate case. The parties had agreed to reduce Avista’s $9.8 million (9.8% average) rate increase to $6.1 million (6.1% average), resolve a number of controversial issues, and allow Avista to increase rates early (March 1, 2015 rather than July 3, 2015). The Oregon Commission rejected the settlement because of concerns regarding a proposed early rate increase and implementation credit, the rate spread, and the customer count tracking mechanism.   [Read more…]

FERC Sides with Oregon Wind Farm Against PGE

On January 22, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order that granted in part and dismissed in part a complaint filed by PáTu Wind Farm (PáTu) against Portland General Electric Company (PGE).  FERC agreed with PaTu’s essential complaint that PGE may not refuse to accept PáTu’s net electric energy output that is delivered to PGE’s system.  FERC also: 1) dismissed PáTu’s arguments that PGE violated FERC’s standards of conduct; and 2) concluded that PáTu should seek monetary reparations in court or before the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) rather than FERC itself.   [Read more…]

New Oregon Avoided Cost Rates and Contracts

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) has approved new standard contracts and rates for qualifying facilities (QFs) that sell their power to Portland General Electric Company (PGE), PacifiCorp, and Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power).  These new rates and contracts are only available to QFs that have the right to sell power to utilities under the Oregon and federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and that have a maximum output of 10 megawatts (MW) or lower.  PGE’s new contracts and rates were approved on December 16, 2014, while PacifiCorp’s and Idaho Power’s were allowed to go into effect in August 2014.  PGE’s and PacifiCorp’s avoided cost rates and contracts provide new options for eligible renewable energy QFs to sell their electricity to these utilities.   [Read more…]