[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 153 (Friday, August 8, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46434-46436]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18788]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program--Eastern Division-Rate Order 
No. WAPA-166

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of proposed power rates.

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SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western) Pick-Sloan 
Missouri Basin Program--Eastern Division (P-SMBP--ED) Rate Schedules P-
SED-F11 and P-SED-FP11 for firm power and firm peaking power service 
expire December 31, 2014. Western is proposing modifications to the 
charge components in Rate Schedules P-SED-F11 and P-SED-FP11 in order 
to true up the base and drought adder charges, which require a minor 
rate adjustment process. The revenue requirement and the total rate 
charges in the firm power and firm peaking power service rate schedules 
are not changing from Rate Schedules P-SED-F11 and P-SED-FP11 and will 
continue to provide sufficient revenue to pay all annual costs, 
including interest expense, and repay investments within the allowable 
periods. If approved, the proposed Rate Schedules P-SED-F12 and P-SED-
FP12 will become effective on January 1, 2015, and will remain in 
effect through December 31, 2019. Publication of this Federal Register 
notice begins the formal process for the proposed rate schedules.

DATES: The consultation and comment period will begin today and will 
end September 8, 2014. Western will accept written comments any time 
during the consultation and comment period.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and requests to be informed of Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) actions concerning the rates 
submitted by Western to FERC for approval should be sent to: Mr. Robert 
J. Harris, Regional Manager, Upper Great Plains Region, Western Area 
Power Administration, 2900 4th Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101-1266, 
or email [email protected]. Information about the rate process is 
posted on Western's Web site at http://www.wapa.gov/ugp/rates/2015firmrateadjust. Western will post official comments received via 
letter and email to its Web site after the close of the comment period. 
Western must receive written comments by the end of the consultation 
and comment period to ensure they are considered in Western's decision 
process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Linda Cady-Hoffman, Rates Manager, 
Upper Great Plains Region, Western Area Power Administration, 2900 4th 
Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101-1266, telephone: (406) 255-2920, 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 14, 2009, the Deputy Secretary 
of Energy approved, on an interim basis, Rate Order No. WAPA-147 and 
Rate Schedules P-SED-F11 and P-SED-FP11 for the period beginning 
January 1, 2010, and ending December 31, 2014 (74 FR 67197-67204 (Dec. 
18, 2009)).\1\ The existing P-SMBP--ED charges in the current rate 
schedules for firm power and firm peaking power continue to provide 
sufficient revenue

[[Page 46435]]

to meet the P-SMBP--ED repayment obligations. The total annual revenue 
requirement for P-SMBP--ED remains $320.2 million for firm power and 
firm peaking power service, and the overall capacity and energy charges 
are not changing, as indicated in the following Table 1:
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    \1\ FERC confirmed and approved Rate Order WAPA-147 on a final 
basis on September 10, 2010, in Docket No. EF10-2-000. See United 
States Department of Energy, Western Area Power Administration 
(Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program--Eastern Division), 132 FERC ] 
62,159.

                               Table 1--Comparison of Existing and Proposed Rates
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                                                                     Existing        Proposed
                                                                   charges under   charges under
                                                                       rates           rates
                       Firm power service                            effective       effective    Percent change
                                                                    (January 1,     (January 1,         (%)
                                                                   2010) P-SED-    2015) P-SED-
                                                                  F11/P-SED-FP11  F12/P-SED-FP12
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P-SMBP--ED Revenue Requirement (millions $).....................          $320.2          $320.2               0
P-SMBP--ED Composite Rate (mills/kWh)...........................           33.25           33.25               0
Firm Capacity ($/kW-month)......................................           $7.65           $7.65               0
Firm Energy (mills/kWh).........................................           19.05           19.05               0
Firm Peaking Capacity ($/kW-month)..............................           $6.90           $6.90               0
Firm Peaking Energy (mills/kWh) 1/..............................           19.05           19.05               0
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1 Firm Peaking Energy is normally returned. This charge will be assessed in the event Firm Peaking Energy is not
  returned.

    Under the current rate methodology, rates for P-SMBP--ED firm power 
and firm peaking power service are designed to recover an annual 
revenue requirement that includes investment repayment, interest, 
purchase power, operation and maintenance, and other expenses within 
the allowable period.
    Western is proposing to true up the base and drought adder 
components of the rate schedules and place new rate schedules into 
effect for the 5-year period, beginning January 1, 2015, through 
December 31, 2019. The proposed true up updates the base components to 
represent present costs and lowers the drought adder components to 
represent present drought costs. Over the past 5-year rate period, the 
P-SMBP costs included in the drought adder have decreased as the actual 
deficits taken were less than projected when the current charges were 
placed into effect. Additionally, there have been drought costs repaid 
ahead of schedule which decreased the drought deficit interest expense. 
Base costs increased during that same period due to a new 5-year cost 
evaluation period, new investments and replacements, and inflationary 
costs. A comparison of the current and proposed components is listed in 
Table 2.

                                                     Table 2--Summary of P-SMBP--ED Rate Components
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                                                           Existing charges under rate schedules P-SED-    Proposed Charges under rate schedules P-SED-
                                                             F11 and P-SED-FP11 as of January 1, 2010        F12 and P-SED-FP12 as of January 1, 2015
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Base        Drought adder                       Base        Drought adder
                                                             component       component     Total charge      component       component     Total charge
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Firm Capacity (/kWmonth)................................           $3.80           $3.85           $7.65           $4.90           $2.75           $7.65
Firm Energy (mills/kWh).................................            9.53            9.52           19.05           12.33            6.72           19.05
Firm Peaking Capacity ($/kWmonth).......................           $3.45           $3.45           $6.90           $4.45           $2.45           $6.90
Firm Peaking Energy (mills/kWh) 1/......................            9.53            9.52           19.05           12.26            6.79           19.05
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1/Firm peaking energy is normally returned. This charge will be assessed in the event firm peaking energy is not returned.

    Over the past 5 years, Western has conducted its annual process of 
reviewing the sufficiency of the drought adder. With the rate schedules 
set to expire December 31, 2014, and the requirement of a public 
process to place new rate schedules into effect, Western proposes to 
true up the base and drought adder components in the new rate schedules 
to current values. Updating the components does not change the overall 
charges. It only identifies what portion of the charge is driven by 
base and drought adder components.

Legal Authority

    The proposed modifications to the rate schedules for firm power and 
firm peaking power service, resulting in a true up of the base and 
drought adder components described above, constitute a minor rate 
adjustment, as defined by 10 CFR part 903.2(f). Western determined it 
is not necessary to hold a public information or public comment forum 
and, instead, held an informal public meeting via webinar for this 
minor rate adjustment, pursuant to 10 CFR 903.17. Western will review 
all timely public comments and make amendments or adjustments to the 
proposal as appropriate. The proposed rate schedules will be forwarded 
to the Deputy Secretary of Energy for approval on an interim basis.
    Western is establishing firm power and firm peaking power service 
rates for P-SMBP--ED under the Department of Energy 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 
section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944 (16 U.S.C. 825s); and other 
acts that specifically apply to the projects involved.
    By Delegation Order No. 00-037.00A, effective October 25, 2013, 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

[[Page 46436]]

adjustments (10 CFR part 903) were published on September 18, 1985.

Availability of Information

    All 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 Upper Great Plains Regional 
Office, located at 2900 4th Avenue North, Billings, Montana. Many of 
these documents and supporting information are also available on 
Western's Web site under the ``2015 Firm Rate Adjustment'' section 
located at http://www.wapa.gov/ugp/rates/2015firmrateadjust.
    Western held an informal public meeting on May 2, 2014, via webinar 
to inform customers, Native American tribes, stakeholders, and other 
interested parties about the proposed minor rate adjustment. The 
webinar was recorded and posted to the above referenced Western Web 
site.

Ratemaking Procedure Requirements

Environmental Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.; the Council on Environmental Quality 
Regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); and DOE 
NEPA Implementing Procedures and Guidelines (10 CFR part 1021), Western 
is in the process of determining whether an environmental assessment or 
an environmental impact statement should be prepared or if this action 
can be categorically excluded from those requirements.

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: July 23, 2014.
Mark A. Gabriel,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-18788 Filed 8-7-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P