AEP/FE Started PATH Construction in Violation of WV Law
Keryn posted a story on Tuesday about an interesting tidbit she learned on the conference call with AEP/FE concerning the costs for PATH that the companies are planning to put on PJM rate payers in 2013. Here is Keryn’s account:
After years of telling people that the depreciation of PATH-Allegheny’s Plant in Service was related to PATH’s ROW office that they opened in Martinsburg before the project died, today the truth finally came out during PATH’s 2013 PTRR Open Meeting.
After Maryland Office of People’s Counsel’s Gary Alexander verified with PATH that they never “put a shovel in the ground” PATH turned right around and told me that the depreciation was linked to amounts PATH spent to clear land at the old chicken farm they bought as a site for their mid-point Welton Springs substation. I guess it technically wasn’t “a shovel”… more like a backhoe or a bulldozer.
PATH never had a permit to do any construction (or destruction) of any kind in West Virginia, so what were they doing clearing land and recording the expense in their construction accounts that they now want to recover from 60 million PJM ratepayers?
Read that again carefully. Yes, AEP/FE began construction of the PATH project by clearing land and doing initial grading for the Welton Spring substation, an integral part of the PATH project.
Here is Chapter 24 Section 2 paragraph 11A of the WV Code:
§24-2-11a. Requirement for certificate of public convenience and necessity before beginning construction of high voltage transmission line; contents of application; notice; hearing; criteria for granting or denying certificate; regulations.
(a) No public utility, person or corporation may begin construction [emphasis added] of a high voltage transmission line of two hundred thousand volts or over, which line is not an ordinary extension of an existing system in the usual course of business as defined by the Public Service Commission, unless and until it or he or she has obtained from the Public Service Commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity approving the construction and proposed location of the transmission line.
Well, there it is. On Tuesday, AEP/FE’s attorneys admitted that the companies violated WV law by beginning construction of a high voltage transmission line without first securing a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the WV PSC. It can’t get any clearer than that.
Let’s see if the WV PSC will open an investigation into this violation of WV law by these two Ohio based companies.