The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has proposed regulations to allow electric utilities to use fuel-cost clauses to recover gains or losses from trading Clean Air Act emission allowances....
NC Supreme Court Settles Avoided-cost Dispute
The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld state regulators' decision to reprice payments made by Virginia Electric and Power Co. (Vepco) to Ultra Cogen Systems, a qualifying facility (QF), for power purchased under avoided-cost contracts approved by Virginia's commission. The North Carolina Utilities Commission (UC) had disallowed $1.39 million in capacity costs while setting rates for the utility's Carolina Power division. The UC ruled that it was not bound by the actions of the Virginia commission and could, thus, apply a different measure of avoided cost in determining how much of the purchased power costs to include in retail rates for Carolina consumers.
The court rejected allegations that the UC's action violated the filed rate doctrine by interfering in Virginia's use of federal law under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The court analyzed both avoided-cost determinations, found the UC's correct, and rejected the alleged PURPA violation because only amounts above actual avoided costs were disallowed from rates. It explained that although Vepco had in fact argued for the proper avoided-cost method before the Virginia commission, it never appealed the decision and thus accepted the risk that other regulators might not permit recovery of the QF payments. North Carolina v. North Carolina Power, No. 230A93, Dec. 9, 1994 (N.C.U.C).
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