PUBLIC UTILITY REGULATION
POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
61-541. Binding ratemaking treatments applicable when costs of a new electric generation facility are included in rates. (1) As used in this section, "certificate" means a certificate of convenience and necessity issued under section 61-526, Idaho Code.
(2) A public utility that proposes to construct, lease or purchase an electric generation facility or transmission facility, or make major additions to an electric generation or transmission facility, may file an application with the commission for an order specifying in advance the ratemaking treatments that shall apply when the costs of the proposed facility are included in the public utility’s revenue requirements for ratemaking purposes. For purposes of this section, the requested ratemaking treatments may include nontraditional ratemaking treatments or nontraditional cost recovery mechanisms.
(a) In its application for an order under this section, a public utility shall describe the need for the proposed facility, how the public utility addresses the risks associated with the proposed facility, the proposed date of the lease or purchase or commencement of construction, the public utility’s proposal for cost recovery, and any proposed ratemaking treatments to be applied to the proposed facility.
(b) For purposes of this section, ratemaking treatments for a proposed facility include but are not limited to:
(i) The return on common equity investment or method of determining the return on common equity investment;
(ii) The depreciation life or schedule;
(iii) The maximum amount of costs that the commission will include in rates at the time determined by the commission without the public utility having the burden of moving forward with additional evidence of the prudence and reasonableness of such costs;
(iv) The method of handling any variances between cost estimates and actual costs; and
(v) The treatment of revenues received from wholesale purchasers of service from the proposed facility.
(3) The commission shall hold a public hearing on the application submitted by the public utility under this section. The commission may hold its hearing in conjunction with an application for a certificate.
(4) Based upon the hearing record, the commission shall issue an order that addresses the proposed ratemaking treatments. The commission may accept, deny or modify a proposed ratemaking treatment requested by the utility. In determining the proposed ratemaking treatments, the commission shall maintain a fair, just and reasonable balance of interests between the requesting utility and the utility’s ratepayers.
(a) In reviewing the application, the commission shall also determine whether:
(i) The public utility has in effect a commission-accepted integrated resource plan;
(ii) The services and operations resulting from the facility are in the public interest and will not be detrimental to the provision of adequate and reliable electric service;
(iii) The public utility has demonstrated that it has considered other sources for long-term electric supply or transmission;
(iv) The addition of the facility is reasonable when compared to energy efficiency, demand-side management and other feasible alternative sources of supply or transmission; and
(v) The public utility participates in a regional transmission planning process.
(b) The commission shall use its best efforts to issue the order setting forth the applicable ratemaking treatments prior to the date of the proposed lease, acquisition or commencement of construction of the facility.
(c) The ratemaking treatments specified in the order issued under this section shall be binding in any subsequent commission proceedings regarding the proposed facility that is the subject of the order, except as may otherwise be established by law.
(5) The commission may not require a public utility to apply for an order under this section.
(6) The commission may promulgate rules or issue procedural orders for the purpose of administering this section.
[61-541, added 2009, ch. 145, sec. 1, p. 436.]