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FERC Ends Summer Session Without Fanfare

Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 1997

targeted the Bonneville Power Administration and its alleged opportunity to "dump" cheap hydropower into the California market.

• Order 888 Tariffs. Lastly, the Commission ok'd compliance filings by 74 electric utilities under FERC Order 888 (Docket No. OA96-18-000 et al.), completing the processing of all issues, rate and nonrate, relating to the 165 tariffs filed last year.

The FERC was able to resolve all issues involving 57 of the tariffs, but found that hearings are required for the remaining 17.

The FERC now plans to focus on a second round of electric open-access filings under Order 888 that will fall due Dec. 31, 1996, dealing with power pools and holding companies. t

Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor with PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

Upcoming ...

El Paso, Las Cruces Spar on Stranded Costs

FERC will review a request by Las Cruces, N.M., to exempt the city from having to pay stranded costs to El Paso Electric Co. if the New Mexico town purchases power from another supplier using the company's transmission system (Docket No. SC97-2-000).

The hearing will examine two issues in particular: 1) whether El Paso Electric could have had a reasonable expectation that it would continue to provide retail electric service to Las Cruces, thus justifying a stranded-cost charge, and 2) if so, what level of recovery is appropriate.

The FERC noted that Las Cruces has initiated proceedings to condemn and acquire El Paso's distribution facilities to form an operating municipal utility system. It said that a factual dispute exists regarding the level of La Cruces' potential stranded cost obligation. El Paso has estimated Las Cruces stranded cost obligation at $234 million, a figure that Las Cruces disputes.

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