Citizens Electric Corporation has filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission regarding the sale of certain electric transmission facilities, seeking a finding that the commission lacks jurisdiction over the matter, or alternatively, for approval of the sale.
According to Citizens Electric spokesman Shawn Seabaugh, it’s just a formality.
“We’ve been outside of their jurisdiction for quite a while,” Seabaugh said. “We’re an electric co-op. We function as an electric cooperative and because we have never had any issues with the PSC before, there was no reason for them to continue to govern over us. We had an outstanding record with them, and so they didn’t feel the need to continue to monitor us as a not-for-profit electric cooperative that returns capital credits to members.”
According to the application, Citizens has entered into a facility purchase agreement with Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Inc., from which Citizens purchases all of the electricity they provide, for the sale of certain 34.5 kV, 69 kV and 138 kV transmission lines, substation equipment and other related items.
Seabaugh said the sale, which was announced at the cooperative’s annual meeting, was part of an effort to allow Citizens Electric to concentrate more on the distribution of power than transmission.
“It’s easier for Wabash Valley Power Alliance to control that,” Seabaugh said. “It made more sense for us to sell those assets to Wabash Valley and become a pure distribution cooperative. We were also able to gain back some operating expenses that we would have had otherwise tied up with owning distribution assets.
“It was just a little bit of a win-win for everybody.”
Seabaugh added that, as part of the deal, Citizens would be able to buy back the transmission facilities in the future.
“And we maintain all of the maintenance and service on it so that we can go ahead and make our own decisions about what new substations need to be planned and built, things of that nature,” Seabaugh said.
According to a news release from the PSC, applications to intervene and participate in the case must be filed no later than July 11, with the Secretary of the Missouri Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, MO 65102, or by using the Commission’s Electronic Filing and Information System (EFIS) at www.psc.mo.gov.
Individual citizens wishing to comment should contact either the Office of the Public Counsel (Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Suite 650, P.O. Box 2230, Jefferson City, MO 65102-2230, telephone (866) 922-2959, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Public Service Commission Staff (P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, MO 65102, telephone 1-800-392-4211, e-mail email@example.com).
The Office of the Public Counsel is a separate state agency that represents the general public in matters before the Commission.