East Virginia SCC May Not Accept PATH Application

A few weeks ago, when AEP/Allegheny misrepresented the status of the MD and East Virginia PATH cases to the WV PSC, I filed a motion in the WV case requesting that the WV PSC request that AEP/Allegheny allow a suspension of the WV case until procedural schedules were established in the other two states.  At least 15 other intervenors filed similar motions.  The WV PSC denied all of our motions.

On September 24, the legal staff of the East Virginia SCC filed a motion to suspend acceptance of the VA PATH application until February 2011, the scheduled date of the release of PJM’s 2010 RTEP.  Here is a link to that motion.

Here is what I wrote in my motion to the WV PSC almost a month ago:

When the Applicants withdrew their application before the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the hearing examiner in the case had not filed any assessment or findings regarding the additional information filed by the Virginia PATH companies in the Virginia case.  Because there is no official record of the position of the hearing examiner, or the Virginia Commission, regarding the Virginia applicants’ revisions, it is not at all clear what conditions the Virginia State Corporation Commission would place on the acceptance of a new application concerning the PATH line.  Given this uncertainty, swift acceptance of a new application in Virginia is hardly assured.

It looks like my prediction is coming true.

Here is the staff’s summary of their motion:

WHEREFORE, the Staff respectfully moves that the PATH application be deemed incomplete and this proceeding held in abeyance until the application is supplemented to include information on: (1) the 2010 RTEP, once completed, as required by the Commission’s Order Granting Withdrawal entered in Case No. PUE-2009-00043 ; (2) the PATH Project’s original routes (including routes that do not impact Virginia), consistent with the information provided regarding other proposed and alternative routes, as is also required by the Order Granting Withdrawal ; and (3) the adequacy of service within the certificated Virginia service territories where PATH is proposed to be located, consistent with Va. Code § 56-265 .4. Additionally, Staff recommends that the Commission direct Dominion, NOVEC, and Shenandoah to provide statements indicating whether any service deficiency currently exists within their respective certificated Virginia service territories and, if so, identify any current or contemplated plan or alternative project that addresses such deficiency.

The reference to the last SCC order and the 2010 RTEP is based upon the SCC hearing examiner’s recommendation that the SCC not take up the case again until PJM’s 2010 RTEP is complete, which PJM admits will not happen until February 2011.  Remember my reference to “conditions the Virginia State Corporation Commission would place on the acceptance of a new application” in my motion?  That’s exactly what I meant.

Note also that the SCC staff is requesting that the SCC get a report from Dominion about whether it can resolve any “deficiencies” that PJM is reporting in their service areas.  Those of you who have been following The Power Line will immediately recognize this request as an opening to Dominion to present its alternative to PATH, explained at this link.

The SCC Commissioners will have to decide how to act on the staff’s motion, but things could get very interesting in East Virginia.