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Texas Outlines Access, Comparability Terms

Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1995

The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued its proposal for achieving electric transmission access and full wholesale competition (Project No. 14045).To achieve comparability, all utilities would be required to use their own transmission systems for all purposes at the same prices and under the same terms and conditions they apply to third-party transmission customers. Utilities would charge themselves for all uses of their transmission systems under the same tariff used in providing transmission service to third-party wheeling customers.

Utilities would be required to functionally unbundle their generation, transmission, and distribution operations. Costs and prices for all service, including ancillary services, must be separately stated. Generation costs would be further separated into market-price and above-market cost components, but utilities would be allowed to price freely.

Utilities may recover their prudently incurred and verifiable above-market transition costs for any revenue dislocation caused by competition. The transition costs would be recovered through a nonbypassable surcharge over a fixed period of time.

The obligation to serve retail customers would rest with the utility's distribution section. But the

distributor would be free to solicit power from any generator for all power needs.

A performance-based ratemaking process would be implemented for the utility's nonmarket-priced transmission and distribution functions. The open-access comparable transmission tariffs would be filed within 60 days of completion of the transmission rulemaking.

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