[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 23 (Monday, February 4, 2013)]
[Pages 7775-7776]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02333]



Western Area Power Administration

Boulder Canyon Project

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Base Charge and Rates.


SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), a power 
marketing administration within the Department of Energy (DOE), is 
proposing an adjustment to the Boulder Canyon Project (BCP) electric 
service base charge and rates. The current base charge and rates expire 
September 30, 2013, under Rate Schedule BCP-F8. The current base charge 
is not sufficient to cover all annual costs including operation, 
maintenance, replacements, interest expense, and to repay investment 
obligations within the required period. The proposed base charge will 
provide sufficient revenue to cover all annual costs and to repay 
investment obligations within the allowable period. A detailed rate 
package that identifies the reasons for the base charge and rates 
adjustment will be available in March 2013. The proposed base charge 
and rates are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2013, and will 
remain in effect through September 30, 2014. This Federal Register 
notice initiates the formal process for the proposed base charge and 

DATES: The consultation and comment period will begin today and will 
end May 6, 2013. Western will present a detailed explanation of the 
proposed base charge and rates at a public information forum March 27, 
2013, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST), in Phoenix, 
Arizona. Western will accept oral and written comments at a public 
comment forum April 10, 2013, beginning at 10:30 a.m. MST, at the same 
location. Western will accept written comments any time during the 
consultation and comment period.

ADDRESSES: The public information forum and public comment forum will 
be held at the Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, 
located at 615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, on the dates cited 
above. Written comments should be sent to Darrick Moe, Regional 
Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power 
Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, email 
[email protected]. Written comments may also be faxed to (602) 605-2490, 
attention: Jack Murray. Western will post the principle documents used 
in developing the rates on its web site at http://www.wapa.gov/dsw/pwrmkt/BCP/RateAdjust.htm. Western will also post official comments 
received via letter, fax, and email to this web site.
    As access to Western facilities is controlled, any U.S. citizen 
wishing to attend any meeting held at Western must present an official 
form of picture identification, such as a U.S. driver's license, U.S. 
passport, U.S. Government ID, or U.S. Military ID, at the time of the 
meeting. Foreign nationals should contact Western 30 days in advance of 
the meeting to obtain the necessary form for admittance to Western.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert 
Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, 
P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, (602) 605-2442, email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed base charge and rates for BCP 
electric service are designed to recover an annual revenue requirement 
that includes the investment repayment, interest, operation and 
maintenance, replacements, payments to states, visitor services, and 
uprating payments. The total costs are offset by the projected revenue 
from water sales, visitor center, ancillary services, and late fees. 
The annual revenue requirement is the base charge for electric service 
and is divided equally between capacity and energy. The annual 
composite rate is the base charge divided by the annual energy sales.
    Rate Schedule BCP-F8, Rate Order No. WAPA-150 was approved on an 
interim basis by the Deputy Secretary of

[[Page 7776]]

Energy on September 16, 2010, for a 5-year period beginning on October 
1, 2010, and ending September 30, 2015.\1\ The schedule received final 
approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on 
December 9, 2010.\2\ Western's existing rate formula for electric 
service requires recalculation of the base charge and rates annually 
based on updated financial and hydrology data. The proposed base charge 
for fiscal year (FY) 2014 under Rate Schedule BCP-F8 is $86,440,816, 
and the proposed composite rate is 22.39 mills/kilowatthour.

    \1\ 75 FR 57912 (September 23, 2010).
    \2\ 133 FERC ] 62,229.

    The proposed BCP electric service base charge and composite rate 
represent increases of approximately 5 percent compared to the FY 2013 
base charge and composite rate. The 5 percent increase in the base 
charge is based on the most current financial data available at this 
time, which was taken from the latest rate-base power repayment study. 
The 5-percent increase in the composite rate is based on current 
hydrology conditions and the corresponding Lake Mead elevations. The 
following table compares the existing and proposed base charge and 
composite rate. This proposal, effective October 1, 2013, is 
preliminary and is subject to change upon publication of final formula 

                       Comparison of Existing and Proposed Base Charge and Composite Rate
                                                                     Existing        Proposed
                                                                    October 1,      October 1,
                                                                   2012 through    2013 through      % Change
                                                                   September 30,   September 30,
                                                                       2013            2014
Base Charge ($).................................................      82,379,637      86,440,816               5
Composite Rate (mills/kWh)......................................           21.28           22.39               5

    The increase in the proposed base charge is due to increases in the 
annual visitor center costs, uprating program principal payments, 
capital investments principal payments and replacement costs. 
Currently, there is no projected year-end carryover from FY 2012 and FY 
2013 resulting in an overall increase in the base charge for FY 2014. 
However, these results are based on preliminary data and subject to 
change upon receipt of audited FY end financial information. The 
projected increase in the composite rate is due to the projected 
increase in the base charge and lower energy projections resulting from 
the current hydrology conditions and Lake Mead elevations.

Legal Authority

    Since the proposed rates constitute a major rate adjustment as 
defined by 10 CFR part 903, Western will hold both a public information 
forum and a public comment forum. After review of public comments, 
Western will take further action on the Proposed Base Charge and Rates 
consistent with 10 CFR parts 903 and 904.
    Western is establishing an electric service base charge and rates 
for BCP under the DOE Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7152); the 
Reclamation Act of 1902 (ch. 1093, 32 Stat. 388), as amended and 
supplemented by subsequent laws, particularly section 9(c) of the 
Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)); and other acts 
that specifically apply to the project involved. By Delegation Order 
No. 00-037.00, effective December 6, 2001, the Secretary of Energy 
delegated: (1) The authority to develop power and transmission rates to 
Western's Administrator; (2) the authority to confirm, approve, and 
place such rates into effect on an interim basis to the Deputy 
Secretary of Energy; and (3) the authority to confirm, approve, and 
place into effect on a final basis, to remand or to disapprove such 
rates to FERC. Existing DOE procedures for public participation in 
power rate adjustments (10 CFR part 903) were published on September 
18, 1985 (50 FR 87835).

Availability of Information

    All brochures, studies, comments, letters, memorandums, or other 
documents that Western initiates or uses to develop the proposed rates 
are available for inspection and copying at the Desert Southwest 
Customer Service Regional Office, Western Area Power Administration, 
615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. Many of these documents and 
supporting information are also available on Western's Web site at 

Ratemaking Procedure Requirements

Environmental Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347); Council on Environmental Quality 
Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); and DOE NEPA Regulations (10 CFR 
part 1021), Western has determined this action is categorically 
excluded from preparing an environmental assessment or an environmental 
impact statement.

Determination Under Executive Order 12866

    Western has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under 
Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, no clearance of this notice by the 
Office of Management and Budget is required.

    Dated: December 20, 2012.
Anita J. Decker,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-02333 Filed 2-1-13; 8:45 am]