Niagara Mohawk Power Co. (NiMo) has appealed a New York Public Service Commission (PSC) order upholding its purchased-power contract with Sithe Energies. In a series of decisions, the PSC had allowed Sithe to sell electricity from the 1,040-megawatt Independence plant to two NiMo customers: Alcan Rolled Products and Liberty Paperboard. In April 1994, the PSC ruled that if Sithe were to sell electricity at retail it would be lightly regulated. Two later PSC decisions called for Sithe to pay NiMo $19.6 million (net present value) over 10 years to compensate for investments made to serve Alcan. NiMo estimates that lost revenues from Alcan will cost remaining customers $60 million (net present value) over that same period.
NiMo is asking the court to annul the PSC's order allowing Sithe to sell retail electricity or order the PSC to require Sithe to pay more adequate compensation. The filing in the Albany County State Supreme Court joins an earlier appeal charging that the PSC erroneously shifted the burden of proof from Sithe to NiMo and other opponents of the sale.
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