Fresh Energy, MREA Request Suspension of Regulatory Proceeding

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Fresh Energy, MREA Request Suspension of Regulatory Proceeding

February 9, 2017

Despite being on opposite sides of the issue, Fresh Energy and the Minnesota Rural Electric Association today (Feb. 9) jointly requested the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission suspend the comment period on a docket investigating fees charged to qualifying facilities by cooperative electric associations under amendments made in 2015 to Minn. Stat. 216B.164, subd. 3. 

The one paragraph request noted that the comment deadline was set for Feb. 10. The parties noted that the Legislature “is currently considering changes to the section of the statute under investigation . . .” and requested the suspension in “the interest of efficiency of Commission resources.”

In a separate filing, the Minnesota Department of Commerce (Department) also requested that the Commission suspend comments “until the outcome of the current Legislative Session is clear. The current Legislature is considering bills (S.F. 141/H.F. 234) to terminate Commission oversight of cooperative and municipal utilities, which contemplates terminating any proceedings currently pending before the Commission. The Department requests that the Commission suspend comments in this proceeding at this time, and reissue a notice for comment if needed once the outcome of the pending legislation is known.”

Numerous comments from cooperative customers critical of the cooperatives’ interconnection fees have also been filed in the MPUC docket. Many of these comments also refer to municipal utilities, although MMUA is not seeking any legislative changes and municipal utilities are only mentioned in the bills as a technical matter.

 The MPUC docket is 16-512.  

Editor's note: If searching eDockets on the MPUC website, '16' is the Docket Number Year and 512 is the Docket Number. 

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