An expiring 40-year-old contract rocks the Pacific AC Intertie.
Bruce W. Radford is editor-in-chief for Public Utilities Fortnightly.
In August 1967, with the “Summer of Love” in full swing, the utility we now know as PacifiCorp agreed to lease all its capacity on a major North-South transmission line to the San Francisco utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), for the fixed annual rent of $475,000.
Today, after 40 years, with that rate now way below market, PacifiCorp believes it is high time to share the love.
Three months ago, PacifiCorp filed a notice at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to inform FERC, PG&E, and the state of California that it would not renew the contract upon its long-anticipated expiration date of July 31, 2007. Instead, it would take back full ownership of its transmission-line rights and sell the available capacity into the open market under its own tariff at today’s going rate. (See, FERC Docket No. ER07-882, filed May 9, 2007.)