Senate Bill No. 162
(By Senator Foster)
[Introduced January 12, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-19, relating to requiring electric utilities to implement least-cost plans; requiring the Public Service Commission to order development of least-cost plans; including minimum requirements and deadlines for the plans; requiring commission review, public hearing and acceptance, rejection or modification of the plan; and addressing the commission’s use of the plan.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-19, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
§24-2-19. Least-cost plans.
(a) Not later than May 31, 2012, the Public Service Commission shall issue an order directing electric utilities to develop a least-cost plan. This order may include guidelines for developing a least-cost plan.
(b) Not later than December 31, 2012, generation-owning electric utilities shall file with the commission a least-cost plan that includes, at minimum:
(1) Evaluation of a full range of scenarios in order to determine the mix of resources that will meet future electricity demand at the lowest system cost within an acceptable range of risk;
(2) Specific actions to be taken by the utility in implementing the least-cost plan during the two years following submission; and
(3) A report on the utility's progress towards implementing the recommendations contained in its previously filed plan.
(c)(1) Not later than December 31, 2012, electric utilities shall file with the commission their least-cost plan, which shall comply with the provisions of this section and with the commission order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, plans shall be filed within two years after the date on which the previous plan was filed with the commission.
(d) The commission shall analyze and review a least-cost plan and, after giving notice and hearing comment at a public hearing, the commission shall accept, reject or modify the plan according to whether the plan is reasonable and is in the public interest.
(e) The commission shall consider the information reported in the least-cost plan when it evaluates the performance of the utility in rate and other proceedings.
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Least-cost plan" means a plan describing the mix of energy supply resources and demand-side resources that will meet current and future needs at the lowest system cost while maintaining adequate and reliable utility service.
(2) "Lowest system cost" means the lowest cost mix of resources determined through a detailed and consistent analysis of available energy sources. This analysis must consider, at minimum, cost of new generation, projected unit retirements, fuel cost, market volatility risks, demand-side resources, risks imposed on ratepayers, environmental impacts, state and federal policies and other commission rules.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require electric utilities to implement least-cost plans. The bill defines a least-cost plan as a plan describing the mix of energy supply resources and demand-side resources that will meet current and future needs at the lowest system cost while maintaining adequate and reliable utility service.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.