(a) Purpose. This section establishes rules for incentive-based (including performance-based) rate treatments for transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce by public utilities for the purpose of benefiting consumers by ensuring reliability and reducing the cost of delivered power by reducing transmission congestion.
(b) Definitions.(1) Transco means a stand-alone transmission company that has been approved by the Commission and that sells transmission services at wholesale and/or on an unbundled retail basis, regardless of whether it is affiliated with another public utility.
(2) Transmission Organization means a Regional Transmission Organization, Independent System Operator, independent transmission provider, or other transmission organization finally approved by the Commission for the operation of transmission facilities.
(c) General rule. All rates approved under the rules of this section, including any revisions to the rules, are subject to the filing requirements of sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act and to the substantive requirements of sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act that all rates, charges, terms and conditions be just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.
(d) Incentive-based rate treatments for transmission infrastructure investment. The Commission will authorize any incentive-based rate treatment, as discussed in this paragraph (d), for transmission infrastructure investment, provided that the proposed incentive-based rate treatment is just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. A public utility's request for one or more incentive-based rate treatments, to be made in a filing pursuant to section 205 of the Federal Power Act, or in a petition for a declaratory order that precedes a filing pursuant to section 205, must include a detailed explanation of how the proposed rate treatment complies with the requirements of section 219 of the Federal Power Act and a demonstration that the proposed rate treatment is just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. The applicant must demonstrate that the facilities for which it seeks incentives either ensure reliability or reduce the cost of delivered power by reducing transmission congestion consistent with the requirements of section 219, that the total package of incentives is tailored to address the demonstrable risks or challenges faced by the applicant in undertaking the project, and that resulting rates are just and reasonable. For purposes of this paragraph (d), incentive-based rate treatment means any of the following:
(1) For purposes of this paragraph (d), incentive-based rate treatment means any of the following:
(i) A rate of return on equity sufficient to attract new investment in transmission facilities;
(ii) 100 percent of prudently incurred Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) in rate base;
(iii) Recovery of prudently incurred pre-commercial operations costs;
(iv) Hypothetical capital structure;
(v) Accelerated depreciation used for rate recovery;
(vi) Recovery of 100 percent of prudently incurred costs of transmission facilities that are cancelled or abandoned due to factors beyond the control of the public utility;
(vii) Deferred cost recovery; and
(viii) Any other incentives approved by the Commission, pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph, that are determined to be just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.
(2) In addition to the incentives in § 35.35(d)(1), the Commission will authorize the following incentive-based rate treatments for Transcos, provided that the proposed incentive-based rate treatment is just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential:
(i) A return on equity that both encourages Transco formation and is sufficient to attract investment; and
(ii) An adjustment to the book value of transmission assets being sold to a Transco to remove the disincentive associated with the impact of accelerated depreciation on federal capital gains tax liabilities.
(e) Incentives for joining a Transmission Organization. The Commission will authorize an incentive-based rate treatment, as discussed in this paragraph (e), for public utilities that join a Transmission Organization, if the applicant demonstrates that the proposed incentive-based rate treatment is just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. Applicants for the incentive-based rate treatment must make a filing with the Commission under section 205 of the Federal Power Act. For purposes of this paragraph (e), an incentive-based rate treatment means a return on equity that is higher than the return on equity the Commission might otherwise allow if the public utility did not join a Transmission Organization. The Commission will also permit transmitting utilities or electric utilities that join a Transmission Organization the ability to recover prudently incurred costs associated with joining the Transmission Organization, either through transmission rates charged by transmitting utilities or electric utilities or through transmission rates charged by the Transmission Organization that provides services to such utilities.
(f) Approval of prudently-incurred costs. The Commission will approve recovery of prudently-incurred costs necessary to comply with the mandatory reliability standards pursuant to section 215 of the Federal Power Act, provided that the proposed rates are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.
(g) Approval of prudently incurred costs related to transmission infrastructure development. The Commission will approve recovery of prudently-incurred costs related to transmission infrastructure development pursuant to section 216 of the Federal Power Act, provided that the proposed rates are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.
(h) FERC-730, Report of transmission investment activity. Public utilities that have been granted incentive rate treatment for specific transmission projects must file FERC-730 on an annual basis beginning with the calendar year incentive rate treatment is granted by the Commission. Such filings are due by April 18 of the following calendar year and are due April 18 each year thereafter. The following information must be filed:
(1) In dollar terms, actual transmission investment for the most recent calendar year, and projected, incremental investments for the next five calendar years;
(2) For all current and projected investments over the next five calendar years, a project by project listing that specifies for each project the most up-to-date, expected completion date, percentage completion as of the date of filing, and reasons for delays. Exclude from this listing projects with projected costs less than $20 million; and
(3) For good cause shown, the Commission may extend the time within which any FERC-730 filing is to be filed or waive the requirements applicable to any such filing.
(i) Rebuttable presumption.(1) The Commission will apply a rebuttable presumption that an applicant has demonstrated that its project is needed to ensure reliability or reduces the cost of delivered power by reducing congestion for:
(i) A transmission project that results from a fair and open regional planning process that considers and evaluates projects for reliability and/or congestion and is found to be acceptable to the Commission; or
(ii) A project that has received construction approval from an appropriate state commission or state siting authority.
(2) To the extent these approval processes do not require that a project ensures reliability or reduce the cost of delivered power by reducing congestion, the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating that its project satisfies these criteria.
(j) Commission authorization to site electric transmission facilities in interstate commerce. If the Commission pursuant to its authority under section 216 of the Federal Power Act and its regulations thereunder has issued one or more permits for the construction or modification of transmission facilities in a national interest electric transmission corridor designated by the Secretary, such facilities shall be deemed to either ensure reliability or reduce the cost of delivered power by reducing congestion for purposes of section 219(a).
[Order 679, 71 FR 43338, July 31, 2006, as amended by Order 679-A, 72 FR 1172, Jan. 10, 2007, Order 691, 72 FR 5174, Feb. 5, 2007]
Title 18 published on 2012-04-01
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