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NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD ORIENTATION MANUAL

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: BOARD ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Chapter 2: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Chapter 3: THE ELECTRIC INDUSTRY IN NEBRASKA
Chapter 4: HOW THE BOARD OPERATES
Chapter 5: PRB PLANNING AND REPORTS
Chapter 6: PRB GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS
GLOSSARY

 

CHAPTER 6
ANNUAL CALENDAR OF MEETINGS

1. National Rural Electric Association----------------------------------

FEBRUARY

2.Municipal Power Pool/Municipal Energy Agency of

Nebraska Annual Meeting -------------------------------------------

FEBRUARY

3.National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners'

Winter Committee Meetings -------------------------------------

FEBRUARY

4.League of Municipalities Utilities Section

Annual Conference ----------------------------------------------------

APRIL

5.American Public Power Association Annual

National Conference --------------------------------------------------

MAY/JUNE

6.National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners'

 

Summer Committee Meetings -------------------------------------

JULY

7.

Tri-State G and T Annual Meeting ---------------------------------

AUGUST

8.

American Public Power Association Legal Seminar -----------

OCTOBER

9.National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners'

 

Annual Convention -------------------------------------------------

NOVEMBER

10.

Nebraska Rural Electric Association Annual Meeting ---------

DECEMBER

11.

Nebraska Power Association Statewide Meeting ---------------

DATE VARIES

ANNUAL AGENDA ITEMS

January: Election of Board Officers.

February:

March: Board members and executive director must file statement of Financial Interest (NADC Form C-1) with the Accountability and Disclosure Commission by March 1.

April:

June: Decide whether the Board will give the executive director the cost-of- living raise that will be received by classified employees (if classified employees will receive a cost-of-living raise that year).

Determine whether there is a need to encumber funds for next year.

Approve assessment figure and amount of reserve funds to be used for the Board's budget for the next fiscal year.

July: Approve annual load and capability report (per section 70-1025(3)).

Prepare Biennial Report for Governor in even-numbered years.

August: Board prepares executive director's annual performance evaluation. A copy of the evaluation must be provided to the DAS State Personnel Director, per section 81-11,104.

September:

October:

November:

December:

*Guidance documents are advisory in nature but are binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 1*

TEMPORARY APPROVAL OF APPLICATIONS TO CONSTRUCT
TRANSMISSION LINES IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

I. Purpose.

This policy establishes the procedure by which temporary approval of applications to construct transmission/distribution lines can be given to Nebraska power suppliers when an emergency situation exists, pending review of the application by the full Board.

II. Policy Applicability and Definitions.

A.This policy shall apply to all applications filed with the Board for authority to construct electric transmission or distribution lines.

B.The term "emergency" or "emergency situation" as used in this policy shall be interpreted broadly to mean those situations where a customer or power supplier will likely face financial loss, inability to act due to weather, danger to health or safety, or other peril caused by delaying commencement of construction until the Power Review Board's next scheduled meeting, or insufficient time in which to call a special meeting of the Board.

1.An illustrative example of an emergency situation would be where electrical power is needed immediately to operate or restore operation to a stack pump or irrigation pivot during summer conditions, while the next Board meeting may be a week or more in the future. Without immediate electric service, the loss of livestock or crops is possible or even likely.

III. Procedure for Emergency Situations.

A.Contact with Power Review Board.

1. When the Board receives an application requesting emergency consideration, or when the power supplier contacts the Board's staff,

the executive director will make a determination whether he believes an emergency situation exists. If a consent and waiver form will be necessary to avoid a hearing, the Board must also receive a consent and waiver form.

2.If the executive director believes an emergency situation exists, he will contact the Board Chair.

B.Temporary Approval

1.The Board Chair is authorized to determine if the power supplier should be given temporary approval to begin construction of the transmission or distribution project.

2.The executive director will notify the power supplier of the Board Chair's decision. This notification may be sent via facsimile transmission.

3.If the Board's Chair is unavailable or cannot be reached, the Board's Vice Chair is authorized to make the determinations set out in

paragraph B.1 (above).

4.If the Board's Chair and Vice-Chair are both unavailable or cannot be reached, the executive director is authorized to make the determinations set out in paragraph B.1 (above).

IV. Restrictions

A.No emergency approval shall be given in those circumstances where consent of an interested utility is required in order to avoid the need for a hearing on the matter, but no such consent for construction and waiver of hearing has been received. In those circumstances, a hearing must be held before construction may begin.

V. Time Limits on Temporary Approval

A.The temporary emergency approval given in situations under this policy are expected to be rare, only in those situations where an electric customer, applicant for electric service, power supplier, or other interested person or entity faces a likelihood of harm, economic or otherwise, if construction cannot begin prior to the Board's next public meeting.

B.The approval given under this policy in no way replaces or supplants the official approval required to be obtained by the Power Review Board as a whole. The temporary

approval is only effective until the board can act on the matter. The matter shall be placed on the agenda for the Board's next available public meeting, in compliance with all legal requirements.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting on August 25, 2000.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 2*

RECONDUCTORING OF LINES

I. Purpose.

This policy establishes the Board's policy regarding whether the "reconductoring" of electric transmission lines performed by power suppliers requires an application to be filed with the Board. When "reconductoring" constitutes general maintenance, it eliminates the need for the Board to approve the "reconductoring" process.

II.Policy Applicability and Definitions.

A.This policy applies to all transmission lines located in the State of Nebraska, over which the Board has jurisdiction.

B.Reconductoring is defined as replacing an existing conductor with a new single conductor that does not also involve increasing the voltage capability of the current transmission line.

III.Board Findings

A.That as long as the reconductoring process does not involve an increase in the voltage of transmission line in current use, and does not involve a change in the physical location of a transmission line or any part thereof, then reconductoring shall be classified as a general maintenance procedure.

1.Merely replacing or altering the support structures of transmission lines to comply with the National Electric Safety Code is considered general maintenance.

B.General maintenance performed on transmission lines does not require Board review or approval.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting January 25, 2002.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 3

APPROVAL FOR TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECTS
INVOLVING MULTIPLE POWER SUPPLIERS

I. Purpose

This policy establishes the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) policy regarding whether electric transmission lines constructed jointly by more than one power supplier constitute projects that require the Board's review and approval prior to the commencement of construction as set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1012 (1996). The Board believes that Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1012 is ambiguous regarding whether certain joint transmission facility projects require Board approval. This policy is intended to clarify the Board's interpretation of the statute's applicability in certain situations.

II.Policy Applicability and Definitions

A.This policy applies to those joint transmission facility projects where two or more power suppliers construct transmission facilities for which each entity involved will own that portion of the facility or transmission line that will be located entirely inside its own service area.

B.The Board recognizes there are numerous methods through which power suppliers could structure a joint transmission facility project. This policy is intended to apply to situations described in II.A (above), and not to others that are structured differently (such as, for example, situations where a power supplier would jointly own a transmission facility locate inside another power supplier's service area, or a power supplier making installment payments to another power supplier responsible for constructing and initial financing for a project, where the power supplier responsible for constructing the project retains ownership of the transmission facilities until full payment for the facilities has been achieved; etc.).

C.This policy applies only to situations where the power supplier(s) holding the service area rights where the transmission facilities will be located either: 1) is the applicant or co-applicant, or 2) has filed a Consent and Waiver form indicating its consent to the construction in its service area and waives a hearing thereon.

III. Board Findings.

A.An application must be filed with the Board Prior to commencement of construction in all joint transmission facility projects where any power supplier involved will at any time be involved in the construction or ownership, jointly or individually, of transmission facilities located outside the supplier's service area.

1.An application filed with the Board for a project described in III.A.(above) will be reviewed by the Board's staff. The executive director will make a determination whether an application meets the criteria for this policy and falls under the exemption from Board approval provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70- 1012(1). If the application does not qualify, then the application will be processed in accordance with the Board's normal procedures for applications. If it does qualify, Board staff will process it according to the guidelines in III.A.2(below).

2.If there are deficiencies in the application, the Board's staff will contact the power suppliers in an attempt to correct the deficiencies. If the application is found to be complete and in compliance with the Board's rules, the executive director will provide a letter to the power suppliers involved informing them that the application is complete and complies with the Board's rules, and the construction may proceed.

B.No formal approval by vote of the Board is required prior to the commencement of construction in situations covered by this policy.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting September 19, 2003.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 4*

PROCEDURES FOR SPECIAL GENERATION APPLICATIONS
FILED PURSUANT TO NEB. REV. STAT. 70-1014.01

I. Purpose

Due to the enactment of Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.01 (formerly known as LB 65 (2003)) the Power Review Board (the Board) believes it beneficial to provide its staff and Nebraska power suppliers with guidance regarding the procedures the Board intends to follow when a special generation application is filed. Although this policy sets out the Board's intentions regarding the procedures it will follow in such circumstances, the policy is intended only as guidelines for purposes of uniformity and predictability. The Board acknowledges that this policy does not have legal effect unless and until its provisions are included in the Board's rules and regulations.

II. Policy Applicability and Definitions

A.This policy applies to all special generation applications filed pursuant to the provisions set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.01.

III. Procedures To Be Followed

A.Upon receipt of an application, the Board's executive director will determine whether the application can be placed on the Board's next agenda. Due to a variety of factors present in each situation, and in order to provide maximum flexibility to the board's staff and applicants, the Board believes it is best not to establish a set deadline by which applications must be submitted. Applicants wishing to know if sufficient time exists to have the matter be considered at the Board's next scheduled meeting should coordinate with the Board's executive director prior to filing the application.

B.The Board's rules and regulations do not currently contain a separate format for special generation applications'. Power suppliers should continue to use the form provided in the Board's rules at Appendix C of Title 285, Nebraska Administrative code, Chapter 2, (located on pages 8 and 9 of the Board's rules).

1.The last paragraph of Appendix C (section 7, found on page 9) should be deleted and replaced with a new section 7. The new section 7 should state that the applicant is either a municipality, a registered group of municipalities, a public power district, a public power and irrigation district, and electric cooperative, and electric membership association, or another form of governmental entity, and that the application is filed as a special generation application under the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. 70- 1014.01.

C.If the applicant would prefer that a hearing not be held on its special generation application, the applicant must attach exhibits to the application that provide sufficient specific information to allow the Board to make the findings required in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.01. The following exhibits should be included:

1.A sworn affidavit from an employee or agent of the applicant that is familiar with the proposed project. Among other information, this person should provide some details concerning where the facility will be located and the total cost of the project.

He/she will attest to the amount of kilowatts of electric energy the facility will produce at the facility's rated capacity (which cannot exceed 10,000 kilowatts); which method of generation listed in 70-1014.01 the unit or facility will use; whether the power supplier involved has filed any other special generation applications, and if so, provide some reasons why the current application constitutes a separate and distinct project from the previous special generation applications.

a.It is not required that all information be provided on one affidavit. Multiple affidavits are appropriate if different individuals have knowledge concerning different aspects of the proposed project.

2.A sworn affidavit describing the public benefits that will be provided by the project that warrant its approval even though it may not constitute the most economically feasible generation option.

3.A sworn affidavit describing the technical specifications or providing a brief description of the generation equipment that will be constructed or installed as a result of the project. If such specifications are in the form of drawings, photographs, etc., a sworn affidavit attesting to their authenticity must be attached.

D.The Board requests that if an applicant prefers the Board not to hold a hearing on its special generation application, the applicant inform the Board of this desire by filing a Request for Waiver of Hearing.

E.If the applicant has obtained signed Consent and Waiver forms from alternate power suppliers that the applicant believes may be affected by the special generation application, the signed originals should be submitted to the Board along with the special generation application and exhibits. Although it is usually helpful, it is not a prerequisite that the applicant obtain the Consent and Waiver forms from alternate power suppliers. The Board will provide written notice to these parties and provide them an opportunity to submit a Consent and Waiver Form.

F.The executive director will review the application and make an initial administrative determination whether the application qualifies as a special generation application.

G.If the application qualifies as a special generation application, a time and date for a hearing will be set. Written notice that the application was filed and notice of the hearing will be sent to the applicant and any alternate power suppliers the Board deems to be affected by the application.

1.The notice will state that if the Board determines the necessary findings can be made without a hearing, and if no interested parties file a Protest or Petition for Intervention in the proceeding, the Board may waive the hearing and consider approval of the special generation application during its next public meeting.

H.Notice will also be provided to the public and any other potentially interested parties through a legal notice that will be placed by the Board in a newspaper with general circulation in the affected area.

1.Similar to the provisions set out in G.1 (above), the public notice will state that if the Board determines the necessary findings can be made without a hearing, and if no interested parties file a Protest or Objection by the stated deadline, the Board may waive the hearing and consider approval of the special generation application during its next public meeting.

2.Upon the receipt of any Protest or Intervention, the Board's staff will provide written notice to the applicant.

I.In the absence of a Protest or Intervention, the Board intends to normally not require a hearing for special generation applications.

1.The Board reserves the right to require a hearing if, in its discretion, it believes one is necessary. However, the Board anticipates that hearings would be used primarily when the project involves special or unique circumstances, or if the application and accompanying exhibits do not provide sufficient information upon which the Board can make the findings required in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.01.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting October 17, 2003.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 5*

PROCEDURES FOR CONFIRMING EXEMPTION FROM POWER REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL FOR GENERATION PROJECTS THAT CONSTITUTE "QUALIFYING FACILITIES" UNDER THE PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY PLICIES ACT OF 1978 (PURPA)

I. Purpose

This policy is being implemented to comply with the legal conclusions in Nebraska Attorney General's Opinion No. 04024 (September 7, 2004). The Policy describes the procedures by which the Power Review Board (the Board) will confirm that renewable generation projects which are considered "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), shall be exempt from the need to obtain Power Review Board approval prior to construction, or prior to interconnecting with the transmission grid in the case of an existing facility, pursuant to the requirements of Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.

II. Definitions.

A. "Owner" for purposes of this policy shall mean one or more individuals or corporations, jointly or severally, in whom is or will be vested primary or controlling interest in a proposed or existing generation facility.

B."Qualifying Facility" for purposes of this policy shall mean a generation facility that meets the criteria to be considered a qualifying small power production facility or a qualifying cogeneration facility under federal regulations set out at 18 C.F.R. subpart B (18 CFR 292.201 through 292.211).

III. Policy Applicability

A.This policy applies to all renewable generation facilities whose owners obtain or wish to obtain certification for the project as a qualifying facility under PURPA. Certification of a project as a qualifying facility must be obtained through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), pursuant the criteria set out in the code of federal regulations at 18 C.F.R. part 292.

B.Generation facilities that constitute qualifying facilities are exempt from the need to obtain the Board's approval. However, the owner of the proposed facility must provide the Board with evidence that a proposed facility, or an existing facility that will be interconnected with the transmission grid, has obtained qualifying status through certification with FERC.

IV. Procedure To Be Followed

A.Owners seeking a determination that a proposed generation facility or an existing generation facility to be interconnected with the transmission grid is a qualifying facility and thus exempt from the Board review should contact FERC to obtain certification of the generation project as a qualifying facility.

B.After the owner of a generation project obtains certification of the project form FERC, the owner should provide the following to the Board:

1.A copy of the completed Form 556 submitted to FERC.

2.A copy of FERC's docket confirmation documentation or FERC's Order granting the application for FERC Certification.

3.A brief transmittal letter stating that the owner has obtained certification of the facility from FERC and therefore intends to proceed with the project without filing an application with the Board.

C.Upon receipt of the documents listed in III.B.1-3 (above), the Board's staff will provide written confirmation to the owner of the proposed generation facility that the evidence of FERC's certification has been received and that the facility is therefore exempt from the need to obtain Board approval prior to commencement of construction, or interconnection of an existing facility, under Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1014.

D.In the event of the receipt of an application for approval of a generation facility which the Board's staff believes may meet the criteria of a qualifying facility, the Board's staff will contact the applicant and inform him or her that it appears the project may constitute a qualifying facility. Such action by the Board's staff in no way constitutes a determination that the generation facility does in fact constitute a qualifying facility. It is intended to bring the matter to the attention of those owners or applicants that may be unaware of PURPA's provisions. The Board's staff will recommend that the applicant investigate the matter further, contact FERC, or seek legal advice.

E.Exemption from the necessity of Board approval does not in any way relieve the owner from any applicable notice requirements or interconnection or safety standards that must otherwise be met prior to or subsequent to construction or installation of the qualifying facility.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting held October 21, 2004.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 6*

ASSESSMENT OF HEARING COSTS

I. Purpose

To clarify when the costs associated with a contested hearing before the Nebraska Power Review Board will be assessed against one or more of the parties participating in the hearing.

II.Policy Applicability and Definitions

A.This policy applies to all parties involved in contested hearings conducted by the Nebraska Power Review Board. The policy shall apply to both power suppliers and to non-utility parties that participate in a contested case based on a Complaint, Protest, Objection or Intervention with the Board.

B.The term "contested case" shall have the same meaning used in the Nebraska Administrative Procedure Act. Contested case means a proceeding before the Board in which the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties are required by law or constitutional right to be determined after an agency hearing. See Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-901(3).

III.PRB Findings and Interpretations

A.If no parties in a contested case request that the Board be bound by the rules of evidence, it is the Board's interpretation that the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat.

84-914(1) do not require that the services of a court reporter be procured. Thus, the proceedings could be tape recorded by the Board's staff. If the Board's decision is appealed, a court reporting service can transcribe the hearing record. The costs associated with the preparation of the transcript will be paid by the party appealing the Board's decision.

B.Under Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-914(1), if any party to a contested case submits a request that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, the party or parties against whom a final decision is rendered must pay all costs incurred as a result of the formal hearing.

C.It is the Board's policy to procure the services of a court reporter in conjunction with all formal hearings, regardless of whether any party to the contested hearing submits a request that the Board be bound by the rules of evidence. This is done for the Board's convenience. The Board prepares a transcript in conjunction with

all formal hearings. As an example, this allows the Board to create a well- prepared permanent record of the proceedings, and facilitates citation to the record for use in the Board's Finding of Facts, Conclusions of Law and Order.

D.The Board finds that to assess the costs of a court reporter at a formal hearing before the Board, when no party has submitted a request that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, places an undue burden on parties wishing to participate in a contested case and serves as a deterrent to participation by members of the public that may otherwise have standing and wish to participate in the hearing.

IV. Assessment of Costs For Formal Hearings

A.When no party to a formal hearing held in conjunction with any contested case submits a request that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, the costs of the court reporting service will not be assessed against the party or parties against whom a decision is rendered.

B.When any party to a formal hearing held in conjunction with any contested case submits a request that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, the costs of the court reporting service will be assessed against the party or parties against whom a decision is rendered.

C.If a party filing a protest or objection to an application submitted by a power supplier waives his or her right to a hearing and agrees to submit the matter on the pleadings, and a formal hearing is nevertheless held in that matter, the costs associated with a court reporting service will not be assessed against that party.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at the January 25, 2008, NPRB meeting.

Amended Section IV. C. at the February 21, 2008, NPRB meeting.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 7*

REPRESENTATION OF PARTIES BY NONLAWERS

I. Purpose

This policy clarifies that the Nebraska Power Review Board (NPRB) allows an employee, officer or member of an entity meeting the requirements in Rule 2.4.3(b)(1) to

(6)of the Nebraska Supreme Court's Rules Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law adopted on October 10, 2007 and effective January 1, 2008, to represent that entity in administrative proceedings before the NPRB.

II.Policy Definition and Applicability

A.This policy applies to all nonlawyers who wish to appear in a representative capacity before the NPRB in a matter involving a contested hearing.

B."Contested case" shall mean any administrative proceeding before the NPRB in which the legal rights, duties, or privileges of specific parties are required by law to be determined after an agency hearing, whether or not the hearing involves opposing parties.

III.Findings

A.That the NPRB is an agency of the State of Nebraska authorized to conduct contested administrative hearings on certain matters within its jurisdiction.

B.That Section 2.4.3 of the Nebraska Supreme Court's Rules Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law establishes the conditions that must be met in order for a nonlawyer to appear in a representative capacity before an administrative tribunal or an agency of the State of Nebraska.

IV. Representation of Parties by Nonlawyers

A.The NPRB permits a nonlawyer employee, member, or officer of an entity or organization to represent that entity or organization. Prior to making an appearance or filing documents in a contested case before the NPRB, a nonlawyer must meet the prerequisites set out in sections 2.4.3(b) of the Nebraska Supreme Court's Rules Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

B.A nonlawyer representing a party in a contested case before the NPRB must provide the NPRB with written documentation demonstrating that the entity or organization has authorized the nonlawyer to appear on behalf of the entity or organization in matters before the NPRB.

C.Pursuant to section 2.4.3(b)(6) of the Nebraska Supreme Court's Rules Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law, when any party requests that the NPRB be bound by the Nebraska Rules of Evidence in a contested case, a nonlawyer is no longer permitted to appear before the NPRB in a representative capacity in that matter.

D.The NPRB does not permit nonlawyers to represent unrelated parties in contested cases before the NPRB. See Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law, section 2.4.3.(c)(1).

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting held January 25, 2008.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 8*

NOTICE CRITERIA FOR TRANSMISSION APPLICATIONS

I. Purpose.

This policy is intended to document the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) policy regarding what entities it deems to be "interested" for purposes of receiving written notice of an application to construct transmission facilities. The policy is intended to provide a general outline of the criteria the Board uses when determining what entities receive notice. It is not intended as an exclusive list of the criteria or outline of entities that the Board can consider.

II. Policy Applicability.

A.This policy applies to an application to construct a transmission facility filed with the Board.

III.Determination of "Interested" Party and Receipt of Notice.

A.In general, when an application involves a 34.5 kV transmission line or larger and is at least 5 miles in length a hearing date will be set and notice provided to the following entities:

1.Any municipality that is in the general area. There is no specific established mile limit, but if a line (or corridor with alternate routes) passes within approximately five miles of a municipality, a notice will be sent to the municipality. The size and purpose of the line, as well as the population density in the area could increase the range of the notice.

2.Any other transmission-owning utility that owns or operates facilities with which the new facility will interconnect.

3.The electric power supplier that holds the retail service area rights to the geographic territory where the facility will be located.

4.If the transmission line will cross over or come in close proximity to

another transmission facility, the Board may provide notice to the owner of that line (if the Board is aware of the proximity).

5.Notice to the general public will be published in at least one newspaper with general circulation in the area where the project will be located.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting on February 18, 2011.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 9*

NOTICE CRITERIA FOR GENERATION APPLICATIONS

I. Purpose.

This policy is intended to document the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) policy regarding what entities it deems to be "interested" for purposes of receiving written notice of an application to construct generation facilities. The policy is intended to provide a general outline of the criteria the Board uses when determining what entities receive notice. It is not intended as an exclusive list of the criteria or outline of the entities that the Board can consider.

II. Policy Applicability.

A.This policy applies to an application to construct a generation facility filed with the Board.

III.Determination of "Interested" Party and Receipt of Notice.

A.In general, when an application is filed with the Board for authority to construct a generation facility, a hearing date will be set and notice provided to the following entities:

1.All utilities within approximately fifty (50) miles of the project that own or operate commercial generation facilities.

2.The electric power supplier that holds the retail service area rights to the geographic territory where the facility will be located.

3.If the facility will interconnect to a transmission provider other than the applicant, notice will be provided to the transmission-owning utility.

4.If the application is filed under 70-1014.02 (a certified renewable export facility), all consumer-owned utilities serving more than 50 MW load at the time of the filing.

5.Notice to the general public will be published in at least one local newspaper with general circulation in the area where the project will be located.

6.Any power suppliers of which the Board is aware that will have a capacity purchase agreement entitling it to a set portion of the facility's output.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB meeting on February 18, 2011.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 10*

DEFINITION OF TERM "ULTIMATE USER"
AS USED IN NEB.REV. STAT. 70-1011

I.Purpose

This policy establishes the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) interpretation of the term "ultimate users" used in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1011. In particular, the Board wishes to clarify that the term "ultimate users" refers to the location of a load or customer, and not to the location of the meter or other point of interconnection where a load or customer's system is connected or coupled with an electric power supplier's distribution system.

II.Policy Applicability and Definitions

A.This policy is intended to apply to situations covered under Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1011 where a power supplier is, or wishes to be, interconnected with a load or customer's electric system for purposes of supplying the load or customer with electric service, when the load or customer is located outside the power supplier's certified retail service area in the State of Nebraska.

B."Power supplier" follows the same meaning as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1001.01(2).

C."Load" or "customer" means an individual physical building, machine, equipment or similar devices (or sometimes a connected or related group of buildings, machines, equipment or similar devices) that uses the electricity provided to it by a retail power supplier.

III.Board Findings

A.It is the Board's interpretation that the term "ultimate users," as it is used in Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1011, refers to the physical location of a load or customer where the electricity is consumed or converted into another form of energy.

1.It is the Board's interpretation that the term "ultimate user" does not refer to the location of the meter used to measure the amount of electricity provided to the load or customer.

B.Based on the above interpretation, the Board believes that it is a violation of Nebraska law for a power supplier to provide electrical power to a load or customer located in any other power supplier's certified retail service area,

except by agreement of the suppliers involved, by order of the Board or a court of competent jurisdiction, or as authorized by some other legal authority determined to have jurisdiction over this matter.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB Board Meeting April 22, 2011.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 11*

ACCEPTANCE OF FILINGS DURING NON-BUSINESS HOURS

I.Purpose

This policy establishes the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) procedure for accepting and date and time stamping documents filed with the Board outside of the Board's normal business hours. There are occasions when the Board's staff is working in the office outside the Board's normal business hours and filings are received, either by personal delivery or facsimile transmission.

II.Policy Applicability and Definitions

A.This policy is meant to outline the Board's procedure for how a document submitted for filing with the Board will be date and time stamped when it is received by the office staff during non-business hours. This policy sets out the procedure that will normally be followed for the Board's staff to accept and time and date stamp documents received during non-business hours so that parties filing the documents or other parties inquiring about filings are aware of the Board's procedures for receiving such documents.

B."Normal business hours" for the Board are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday. The office is closed on all State holidays.

C."Non-business hours" are any hours that are not part of the Board's normal business hours.

III.Receipt of Filings Prior to the Office Opening for Business

Documents received prior to the time when the Board officially opens in the morning on a non-holiday workday will be time and date stamped on the appropriate business date at 8:00 a.m. For example: a courier arrives at the Board's offices at 7:20 a.m. on June 10 to file a document. The Board's staff member accepting the filing will time and date stamp it as having been officially received at 8:00 a.m. on June 10.

IV.

Receipt of Filings After the Close of Business

Documents received by the Board's staff after the close of business will be time and date stamped as having been officially filed at the opening of the office on the next business day. For example: a courier arrives at the Board's offices at 5:45 p.m. on June 10 to file a document. The Board's staff member accepting the filing will time and date stamp it as having been officially received at 8:00 a.m. on June 11.

V.Receipt of Filings Via U. S. Postal Service or State Interoffice Mail

Documents received through the U.S. mail or through the State's interoffice mail will be time and date stamped as having been officially received at the time when the mail is retrieved on that business day. If the mail would be retrieved on a non-business day, the document will be time and date stamped as having been received at the opening of business on the next business day. On business days, the Board's staff will retrieve mail each morning. In some instances the mail may be checked periodically throughout the day. Those documents received during the day will be time and date stamped as having been received at the time they are retrieved prior to the close of business.

VI. Filing of Documents Due To Non-Scheduled Office Closure

In any instance when the Nebraska State Office Building or the Board's offices are closed on a weekday that is not a State holiday due to unscheduled circumstances (e.g. weather conditions, bomb threat, all Board employees are ill on the same day, etc.) that day will be treated as if it were a State holiday only for purposes of determining filing deadlines, receipt of filings, and time-stamping documents received in the Board's offices. If the Board's offices are open for part of the day but are closed prior to the normal close of business at 5:00 p.m. CT, the entire day will be treated as if it were a State holiday only for purposes of filing deadlines. Any documents received while the Board's offices are open on such a day will be accepted for filing and time or date stamped on that day.

A.In instances where the Board's offices open later than its normal opening time of 8:00 a.m. due to unforeseen circumstances (such as inclement weather, evacuation due to bomb threat, etc.), the day will be deemed to be a normal business day for purposes of receiving filings if the Board's offices are open by 1:00 p.m. and remain open until the normal close of business at 5:00 p.m. In instances where the Board's offices are not open for business by 1:00 p.m., but are subsequently open, that day will be considered to be a State holiday only for purposes of filing deadlines.

B.In the event the Board's offices are closed on a non-holiday weekday due to unforeseen circumstances, the Board's staff will make an attempt to notify any party, or the party's attorney if represented by counsel, with proceedings pending before the Board about the closure and that the day should be counted as a State holiday only for purposes of calculating filing deadlines.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved as amended at NPRB Board Meeting January 11, 2013. Originally approved on August 12, 2011.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 12*

POWER REVIEW BOARD JURISDICTION WHEN A NON-UTILITY
PROVIDES ELECTRICITY TO THIRD PARTIES

I.Purpose

Each electric power supplier serving customers in the State of Nebraska has a certified service area in which it is both authorized and obligated, if economically feasible, to provide retail electric service to the customers in that service area. There are limited instances where entities that are not utilities provide electricity to third parties for various purposes. One example is when a business provides electricity to third parties in order to charge Plug-In Electric Vehicle's (PEVs). As the use of PEVs and other instances of non-utilities providing electricity to third parties becomes more prevalent, the Nebraska Power Review Board (the Board or PRB) is aware that it would be helpful to citizens, businesses and electric utilities to have guidance regarding whether and under what circumstances the Board believes provision of electricity to third parties by a non-utility would mean the provider is acting as an electric power supplier and the activity is therefore subject to the Board's jurisdiction. This policy is intended to provide general guidance regarding how the Board interprets its jurisdiction over the provision of electricity by non-utility entities to third parties, including situations involving PEV charging stations, in order to ensure that citizens, businesses and utilities know how to conduct their affairs and remain compliant with Nebraska law when dealing with situations involving the provision of electricity to third parties.

II.Power Review Board Jurisdiction

The Board has jurisdiction over certain activities in which electric power suppliers operating in the State of Nebraska are engaged. Under Nebraska law, other than in the instance of Certified Renewable Export Facilities, "electric suppliers or suppliers of electricity means any legal entity supplying, producing, or distributing electricity within the state for sale at wholesale or retail." Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1001.01(3). Unless otherwise agreed to by the suppliers involved, "no supplier shall offer electric service to additional ultimate users outside its service area or construct or acquire a new electric line or extend an existing line into the service area of another supplier for the purpose of furnishing service to ultimate users therein without first applying to the board and receiving approval thereof, after due notice and hearing under rules and regulations of the board." Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1011. Due to these provisions of law, entities that are not a utility with a certified retail service area that sell or distribute electricity to third parties without the consent of the utility holding the service area rights to that location may be in violation of Nebraska law. If customers are being served in violation of the provisions of Chapter 70, article 10, the Board has the authority, and possibly the obligation, to bring an action to enjoin the violation until the power supplier complies with the provisions of Chapter 70, article 10. Neb. Rev. Stat. 70-1015(1).

Due to the above provisions of law, the Board has jurisdiction over situations where any entity is selling or distributing electricity at wholesale or retail to third parties.

III.Situations Constituting a Violation

The Board's interpretation of Nebraska law is that a violation occurs when a non-utility entity sells electricity to third parties, and the compensation paid by the third party is based on the actual amount of electricity used by the third party customer as measured by an electric meter or other similar device. Under such circumstances, the non-utility entity becomes a retail power supplier under Nebraska law, thus subjecting the activity to the Board's jurisdiction. Whether the entity is making a profit from the sale of the electricity is not relevant.

A.Example: If a landlord meters or otherwise measures the consumption of electricity on the pertinent property and charges tenants an additional amount based on the actual usage, the landlord is selling electricity to third parties and is operating as an electric power supplier. This would include rental properties such as apartment complexes, duplexes, and mobile home parks. The Board does have jurisdiction over such operations and the operation is a potential violation of Nebraska law.

B.Example: If a business such as a truck stop sells electricity to its customers through the use of a PEV charging station that meters the electricity consumed and charges the customer based on the actual usage (usually measured in kilowatt hours), the provider of the electricity is operating as an electric power supplier, the activity falls within the Board's jurisdiction, and the sale is a potential violation of Nebraska law.

IV. Situations That Do Not Constitute a Violation

If an entity provides electricity to third parties as part of another service or package, and the customer is not charged for electricity based on the actual usage, the Board does not believe that the entity is engaged in "selling" or "distributing" electricity as used in 70- 1001.01(3). The Board considers provision of electricity in such situations as incidental to the primary business in which the entity is engaged, and is intended to be a service or activity included as part of a larger package. In such instances the entity is not acting as an electric power supplier, and the activity does not create PRB jurisdiction over the entity or its actions.

A.Example: The provision of electricity by an entity, including private businesses and political subdivisions of the state, through the use of charging stations or other devices solely to its own buildings, machines, vehicles, etc. does not fall within the Board's jurisdiction and does not violate Nebraska law.

B.Example: Businesses such as truck stops, gas stations, convenience stores, campgrounds and hotels that provide electricity on a temporary basis to their customers without charging for the electricity based on usage are not operating as electric power suppliers and therefore those activities do not fall within the Board's jurisdiction and do not constitute a violation of Nebraska law.

C.Example: A campground that provides electricity as part of a set packaged price that also includes the use of a camp site, water, recreational vehicle sewer disposal services, bathrooms, showers, picnic facilities, cable television, etc. is not selling or distributing electricity for purposes of 70-1001.01(3).

V.Receipt of Complaint

Any person or entity, including consumers and utilities, may file a complaint with the Board concerning a potential violation involving an entity engaged in selling or distributing electricity to third parties outside its service area through the use of devices such as PEV charging stations. The Board will follow the procedures established in Chapter 70, article 10 and the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure when a complaint is filed.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB Board Meeting June 14, 2013.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT NO. 13*

REMITTANCE OF ASSESSMENT FUNDS AND
INTEREST ON LATE PAYMENTS

I.Purpose

This policy establishes the Nebraska Power Review Board's (the Board) interpretation of when payments of the assessments levied against Nebraska's electric power suppliers are past due and interest must be charged. The pertinent language in Nebraska Revised Statute section 70-1020, states "The [electric power] supplier shall remit the amount of its assessment to the board within forty-five days after the mailing of the assessment. Any assessment not paid when due shall draw interest at a rate equal to the rate of interest allowed per annum under section 45-104.02, as such rate may from time to time be adjusted."

II.Power Review Board's Interpretation

The language in Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1020 requires that each power supplier operating in the State of Nebraska remit its payment to the Board within forty-five days from the date when the Board mails the assessment notice. The Board finds that payments are submitted when either delivered to the Board's offices or postmarked if delivered by mail. According to Black's Law Dictionary, the term "remit" means "To transmit (as money)." Black's Law Dictionary 1409 (9th ed., 2009). Similarly, Webster's dictionary defines "remit" as "to send (money) in payment." Webster's New World Dictionary 545 (4th ed. 2003). The statute does not require that the payment be received in the Board's offices within the forty-five days.

Based on the above definitions, it is the Board's interpretation that a power supplier remits payment when it is placed in the mail as demonstrated by the postmark, or when delivered by hand to the Board's offices. Interest will not be charged for assessments received after the due date, so long as the payment is postmarked on or prior to the due date.

The Board will collect interest from any power supplier from which payment is received after the due date, or if the postmark is after the due date. Interest will be collected from the power supplier regardless of the amount involved. The language in Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1020 clearly states that late payments "shall draw interest." The use of the word shall indicates mandatory and nondiscretionary action. The Board and its staff lack any legal authority to waive collection of interest on late payments, even when the interest involved is for a nominal amount.

Example: The Board sends out its notice of assessment on August 1. Payment would be due forty-five days later on September 15. A power supplier mails its payment check on September 12, which is received by the Board on September 17. The payment is not late,

as it was remitted prior to the due date, as demonstrated by the postmark on the envelope. Thus, no interest would need to be assessed. If the envelope was postmarked on September 16 and was received on September 20, five day's interest would be charged.

III.Calculation of Interest

The Board's staff will determine the interest to be assessed based on the interest rate set in Neb. Rev. Stat. section 45-104.02. Interest will be calculated on a per annum basis, which will then be divided by 365. The power supplier will receive a letter from the Board's staff notifying it of the amount of interest due.

___________________________________________________________

Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel

Approved at NPRB Board Meeting October 11, 2013.

 

Nebraska Power Review Board
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94713
Lincoln, NE 68509-4713
PH: (402) 471-2301
Fax: (402) 471-3715

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