PSC Disdains "Gradual" Reform in Consumers Power Settlement

Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1997
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The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a comprehensive settlement in a series of closely watched cases in which Consumers Power Co. had proposed to realign electric rates and cost recovery to anticipate retail competition in electricity.

Among other points, the settlement allows Consumers Power to implement a "direct access" tariff to meet anticipated competition for its largest customers. And, by approving the settlement, the commission allowed the company to reach a long-held goal of recovering costs associated with its full contractual commitment to purchase power from the large, gas-fired cogeneration plant operated by its affiliate, Midland Cogeneration Venture Limited Partnership (MCV).

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Nevertheless, the commission stopped short of approving the level of nuclear plant write-downs requested by the utility, and also rejected a proposed "price cap" formula based upon the annual average percentage change in the Detroit Consumer Price Index, minus a 1-percent productivity offset.

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