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PSC Opens Working Case to Consider Membership of Investor-Owned Electric Utilities in RTOs

Targeted News Service (Press Releases)

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, Oct. 20 -- The Missouri Public Service Commission issued the following news release:

The Missouri Public Service Commission has opened a working case to determine the long-term benefits of continued membership in a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) by Missouri's investor-owned electric utilities.

The Commission believes there are benefits in RTO membership but long-term costs and commitments of RTO membership, especially given the structure, services, and membership of both Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) continue to change significantly with the passage of time.

"To determine whether continued membership in an RTO is in the ratepayers' best interest, the Commission must inquire into the nature of the benefits of RTO membership, the monetized value of those benefits, and what time horizons should be employed to compare asset lives (costs) to the values of benefits streams," says the Commission.

The Commission directs each Missouri investor-owned utility -- Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri; Evergy Metro, Inc. d/b/a Evergy Missouri Metro; Evergy Missouri West, Inc. d/b/a Evergy Missouri West; and The Empire District Electric Company d/b/a Liberty -- to take part in a workshop and cooperate with Commission Staff (Staff) in its investigation.

Staff and the electric utilities will determine:

1) the kind of information needed to respond to the Commission's current and previous orders on RTO membership; 2) whether such information is reasonably and economically available, and if not, what kind of information could be used as a proxy to control costs and expeditiously respond to the Commission; 3) the cost of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting such information; and 4) whether there are any identifiable "deal breaker" events or categories of events that would make it unreasonable for a Missouri investor-owned utility to remain in an RTO.

Staff is to file a report regarding its findings by June 30, 2021.


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