[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 125 (Monday, June 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36794-36796]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15272]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Bonneville Power Administration

[BPA File No.: PNCA-14]


Proposed Changes to the Interchange Energy Imbalances Rate Under 
the Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement (PNCA)

AGENCY: Bonneville Power Administration (BPA or Bonneville), Department 
of Energy (DOE).

ACTIONS: Notice of Proposed Adjustment to Interchange Energy Imbalances 
Rate under the Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement (PNCA).

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SUMMARY: BPA is holding this proceeding, Docket No. PNCA-14, to 
establish a new Interchange Energy Imbalances rate under the PNCA.
    The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act 
(Northwest Power Act) provides that BPA must establish and periodically 
review and revise its rates so that they are adequate to recover, in 
accordance with sound business principles, the costs associated with 
the acquisition, conservation, and transmission of electric power, 
including amortization of the Federal investment in the Federal 
Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) over a reasonable number of years 
and BPA's other costs and expenses. The Northwest Power Act also 
requires that BPA's rates be established based on the record of a 
formal hearing. By this notice, BPA announces the commencement of a 
rate adjustment proceeding for establishment of a new Interchange 
Energy Imbalances rate under the PNCA.

DATES: Anyone wishing to become a party to the PNCA-14 proceeding must 
provide written notice, via U.S. Mail or electronic mail, which must be 
received by BPA no later than 3:00 p.m. on July 10, 2014.
    The PNCA-14 rate adjustment proceeding begins with a prehearing 
conference at 9:00 a.m. on July 9, 2014, in the BPA Rates Hearing Room, 
1201 Lloyd Blvd., Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97232.
    Written comments by non-party participants must be received by 
August 15, 2014, to be considered in the Administrator's Record of 
Decision (ROD).

ADDRESSES: 1. Petitions to intervene should be directed to: Hearing 
Clerk--L-7, Bonneville Power Administration, 905 NE. 11th Avenue, 
Portland, Oregon 97232, or may be emailed to [email protected]. In 
addition, copies of the petition must be served concurrently on BPA's 
General Counsel and directed to both Mr. Peter J. Burger, LP-7, Office 
of General Counsel, 905 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232, or via 
email to [email protected] (see section III.A. for more information 
regarding interventions).
    2. Written comments by participants should be submitted to the 
Public Affairs Office, DKE-7, Bonneville Power Administration, P.O. Box 
14428, Portland, Oregon 97293. Participants may also submit comments by 
email at: www.bpa.gov/comment. BPA requests that all comments and 
documents intended to be part of the Official Record in this rate 
proceeding contain the designation PNCA-14 in the subject line.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Heidi Y. Helwig, DKC-7, 
Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration, 
P.O. Box 3621, Portland, Oregon 97208; by phone toll free at 1-800-622-
4520; or via email to [email protected]. Responsible Officials: Mr. 
Robert Diffely, BPA's PNCA Representative, is the official responsible 
for the development of BPA's Interchange Energy rate.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction and Procedural Background
Part II. Purpose and Scope of the PNCA-14 Rate Proceeding
Part III. Public Participation in BP-14
Part IV. Summary of Rate Proposals

Part I--Introduction and Procedural Background

    Section 7(i) of the Northwest Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 839e(i), 
requires that BPA's rates be established according to certain 
procedures, including publication in the Federal Register of this 
notice of the proposed rates; one or more hearings conducted as 
expeditiously as practicable by a Hearing Officer; opportunity for both 
oral presentation and written submission of views, data, questions, and 
arguments related to the proposed rates; and a decision by the 
Administrator based on the record. BPA's rate proceedings are further 
governed by BPA's Procedures Governing Bonneville Power Administration 
Rate Hearings, 51 FR 7611 (March 5, 1986), which implement and expand 
the statutory requirements.
    This proceeding is being conducted under the rule for Expedited 
Rate Proceedings, section 1010.10 of BPA's Procedures. BPA is proposing 
to use the Expedited Rate Proceedings because BPA is only proposing a 
change to the index used to price the balance of interchange energy 
between pairs of parties to the PNCA. The PNCA calls for the 
application of the Dow Jones Mid-C Index (Dow Jones Index) to price 
imbalance energy. The Dow Jones Index is no longer published and a 
replacement index needs to be identified for purposes of pricing the 
interchange energy. For this reason, the issues in this proceeding are 
anticipated to be very limited. Given these circumstances, BPA believes 
that a 90-day Expedited Rate Proceeding is sufficient to develop a full 
and complete record. If it is determined that additional time is 
required, the hearing officer may petition the Administrator for 
additional time as provided under Rule 1010.10(b). A proposed schedule 
for the proceeding is provided below. A final schedule will be 
established by the Hearing Officer at the prehearing conference.

BPA Direct Case--July 9, 2014
Prehearing Conference--July 9, 2014
Deadline to Intervene--July 10, 2014
Data Request Deadline--July 22, 2014
Data Response Deadline--July 29, 2014
Parties file Direct Case--August 1, 2014
Data Request Deadline--August 8, 2014
Data Response Deadline--August 15, 2014
Close of Participant Comments--August 15, 2014
Litigants file Rebuttal--August 25, 2014
Data Request Deadline--September 2, 2014
Data Response Deadline--September 9, 2014
Cross-Examination--September 12, 2014
Initial Briefs Filed--September 19, 2014
Briefs on Exceptions--September 26, 2014
Final ROD--Final Studies--October 8, 2014

    Section 1010.7 of BPA's Procedures prohibits ex parte 
communications. The ex parte rule applies to all BPA and DOE employees 
and contractors. Except as provided below, any outside communications 
with BPA and/or DOE personnel regarding the merits of any issue in 
BPA's rate proceeding by other Executive Branch agencies, Congress, 
existing or potential BPA customers (including tribes), or nonprofit or 
public interest groups are considered outside communications and are 
subject to the

[[Page 36795]]

ex parte rule. The rule does not apply to communications relating to: 
(1) Matters of procedure only (the status of the rate proceeding, for 
example); (2) exchanges of data in the course of business or under the 
Freedom of Information Act; (3) requests for factual information; (4) 
matters for which BPA is responsible under statutes other than the 
ratemaking provisions; or (5) matters which all parties agree may be 
made on an ex parte basis. The ex parte rule remains in effect until 
the Administrator's Final ROD is issued, which is scheduled to occur on 
or about October 8, 2014.

Part II--Purpose and Scope of the PNCA-14 Rate Proceeding

A. Circumstances Necessitating the Proposed Change

    In PNCA-02, BPA established a rate for Interchange Energy under the 
PNCA contract. The PNCA-02 proceeding adopted a rate that was linked to 
a market index. The Dow Jones Mid-Columbia Firm index was chosen as the 
index for pricing the energy. The sole purpose of this proceeding is to 
propose a replacement for the index used to price the balance of 
interchange energy exchanged between pairs of parties to the PNCA. Dow 
Jones ceased publication of the Dow Jones Mid-C Index in 2013 so 
currently there is no index to price this energy. BPA is proposing to 
substitute the Intercontinental Exchange Mid-C Index for the Dow Jones 
index. In addition to replacing the Dow Jones Index, BPA is also 
proposing to place a floor of $0.00/MWh for energy provided for the 
Interchange Energy imbalances. The purpose of the floor is to avoid 
having a PNCA party pay another PNCA party when it provides Interchange 
Energy during periods when Intercontinental Exchange has negative 
prices.

B. Scope

    The scope of this proceeding is limited to the appropriateness of 
substituting the Intercontinental Exchange as the index used to price 
the energy and the additional proposal to place a floor on the index 
price of $0.00/MWh. Pursuant to Sec.  1010.3(f) of BPA's Procedures, 
the Administrator hereby directs the Hearing Officer to exclude from 
the record all argument, testimony, or other evidence that seeks in any 
way to address matters outside of these two issues.

C. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    BPA is in the process of assessing the potential environmental 
effects of its proposal, consistent with NEPA. A preliminary review of 
the proposal indicates that it involves solely administrative and 
financial matters that appear to fall within a class of actions that 
are categorically excluded from further NEPA review pursuant to 
applicable NEPA regulations. Comments regarding the potential 
environmental effects of the proposal may be submitted to Katherine S. 
Pierce, NEPA Compliance Officer, KEC-4, Bonneville Power 
Administration, 905 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232. Any such 
comments received by the comment deadline for Participant Comments 
identified in section III.A. below will be considered by BPA's NEPA 
compliance staff in the NEPA process that will be conducted for this 
proposal.

Part III--Public Participation in BP-14

A. Distinguishing Between ``Participants'' and ``Parties''

    BPA distinguishes between ``participants in'' and ``parties to'' 
the hearings. Apart from the formal hearing process, BPA will receive 
written comments, views, opinions, and information from 
``participants,'' who may submit comments without being subject to the 
duties of, or having the privileges of, parties. Participants' written 
comments will be made part of the official record and considered by the 
Administrator. Participants are not entitled to take part in the 
prehearing conference; may not cross-examine parties' witnesses, seek 
discovery, or serve or be served with documents; and are not subject to 
the same procedural requirements as parties. BPA customers whose rates 
are subject to this proceeding, or their affiliated customer groups, 
may not submit participant comments. Members or employees of 
organizations that have intervened in the rate proceeding may submit 
general comments as participants but may not use the comment procedures 
to address specific issues raised by their intervenor organizations.
    Written comments by participants will be included in the record if 
they are received by August 15, 2014. Written views, supporting 
information, questions, and arguments should be submitted to the 
address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.
    Entities or persons become parties to the proceeding by filing 
petitions to intervene, which must state the name and address of the 
entity or person requesting party status and the entity's or person's 
interest in the hearing. BPA customers and affiliated customer groups 
will be granted intervention based on petitions filed in conformance 
with BPA's Procedures. Other petitioners must explain their interests 
in sufficient detail to permit the Hearing Officer to determine whether 
the petitioners have a relevant interest in the hearing. Pursuant to 
Rule 1010.1(d) of BPA's Procedures, BPA waives the requirement in Rule 
1010.4(d) that an opposition to an intervention petition be filed and 
served 24 hours before the prehearing conference. The time limit for 
opposing a timely intervention will be established at the prehearing 
conference. Any party, including BPA, may oppose a petition for 
intervention. All petitions will be ruled on by the Hearing Officer. 
Late interventions are strongly disfavored. Opposition to an untimely 
petition to intervene must be filed and received by BPA within two days 
after service of the petition.

B. Developing the Record

    The hearing record will include, among other things, the 
transcripts of the hearing, written evidence and argument entered into 
the record by BPA and the parties, written comments from participants, 
and other material accepted into the record by the Hearing Officer. The 
Hearing Officer will review the record and certify the record to the 
Administrator for final decision.
    The Administrator will make a decision on the modification to the 
PNCA Interchange Energy rate based on the record and such other 
materials and information as may have been submitted to or developed by 
the Administrator. The Administrator will serve copies of the Final ROD 
on all parties. BPA will file its rates with the Commission for 
confirmation and approval after issuance of the Final ROD.

Part IV--Summary of Rate Proposal

A. Initial Deliveries of IE

    This charge applies to IE delivered from BPA to another PNCA party.
Formula 1
C = (IDON * ION) + (IDOFF * 
IOFF)

Where for each day

C = Daily charge for Initial Deliveries of ID in Dollars
IDON = The Initial Deliveries of IE made during the day 
during On Peak hours.
ION = The Intercontinental Exchange Mid-C index for On 
Peak hours in dollars per megawatt hour, but ION shall 
not be less than $0.00 per megawatt hour.
IDOFF = The Initial Deliveries of IE made during the day 
during Off Peak hours.
IOFF = The Intercontinental Exchange Mid-C index for Off 
Peak hours in dollars per megawatt hour, but ION shall 
not be less than $0.00 per megawatt hour.

    Initial Deliveries of IE on Sunday or a NERC (or its successor 
organization(s))

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recognized holidays are priced at the Off Peak rate.

B. Return of IE

    This charge applies to the return of ID that was initially 
delivered to BPA from another PNCA party. The charge is as follows:
Formula 2
CPARTY = IERPARTY * RPARTY

Where for each PNCA Party for a given day:

CPARTY = Daily charge for the return of such PNCA party's 
IE in dollars
IERPARTY = The quantity of IE returned to a PNCA party on 
a day in megawatt hours
RPARTY = the applicable IE return rate for the PNCA party 
for the given day as calculated in in Formula 3 below in dollars per 
megawatt hour.

Formula 3
RPARTY = [sum]CPARTY / [sum]IERPARTY

Where for each PNCA Party for a given day:

RPARTY = the IE return rate calculated for the PNCA party 
as of the given day in dollars per megawatt hours.
[sum]CPARTY = all payments received by BPA from such PNCA 
party from the date of the last cash out of IE Imbalances to the 
date BPA returns the ID, in dollars
[sum]IERPARTY = the net of all IE BPA has received from 
such PNCA party and the IE returned by BPA to such PNCA party from 
the date of the last cash out of IE Imbalances to the date BPA 
returns the IE, in megawatt hours.


    Issued this 19th day of June 2014.
Elliot E. Mainzer,
Administrator and Chief Executive Officer.
[FR Doc. 2014-15272 Filed 6-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P