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Notice

Sam Rayburn Dam Power Rate Schedules

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Southwestern Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION:

Notice of rate order.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to Delegation Order Nos. 00-037.00, effective December 6, 2001, and 00-001.00A, effective September 17, 2002, the Deputy Secretary has approved and placed into effect on an interim basis Rate Order No. SWPA-52, which increases the power rate for the Sam Rayburn Dam Project (Rayburn) pursuant to the following Sam Rayburn Dam Rate Schedule:

Rate Schedule SRD-04, Wholesale Rates for Hydro Power and Energy Sold to Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc., (Contract No. DE-PM75-92SW00215)

The effective period for the rate schedule specified in Rate Order No. SWPA-52 is January 1, 2005, through September 30, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Forrest E. Reeves, Assistant Administrator, Office of Corporate Operations, Southwestern Power Administration, Department of Energy, One West Third Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103, (918) 595-6696, gene.reeves@swpa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The existing hydroelectric power rate for the Rayburn project is $2,013,024 per year. The rate was approved on a final basis by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on January 31, 2003, for the period October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2006. The 2004 Rayburn Power Repayment Studies indicate the need for an increase in the annual rate of $500,676, or 24.9 percent beginning January 1, 2005.

The Administrator, Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) has followed Title 10, Part 903 Subpart A, of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Procedures for Public Participation in Power and Transmission Rate Adjustments and Extensions” (Part 903) in connection with the proposed rate schedule. On July 21, 2004, Southwestern published notice in the Federal Register, 69 FR 43580, of a 90-day comment period, together with a Public Information Forum and a Public Comment Forum, to provide an opportunity for customers and other interested members of the public to review and comment on a proposed rate increase for the Rayburn project. Both public forums were canceled when no one expressed an intention to participate. Written comments were accepted through October 19, 2004. One comment was received from Gillis & Angley, Counsellors at Law, on behalf of Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency and Vinton Public Power Authority, (organizations within Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc.) which stated that they had no objection to the proposed rate adjustment.

Information regarding this rate proposal, including studies and other supporting material, is available for public review and comment in the offices of Southwestern Power Administration, One West Third Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103.

Following review of Southwestern's proposal within the Department of Energy, I approved Rate Order No. SWPA-52, on an interim basis, which increases the existing Rayburn rate to $2,513,700, per year, for the period January 1, 2005, through September 30, 2008.

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Dated: November 16, 2004.

Kyle E. McSlarrow,

Deputy Secretary.

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Order Confirming, Approving and Placing Increased Power Rate Schedule in Effect on an Interim Basis

Pursuant to Sections 302(a) and 301(b) of the Department of Energy Organization Act, Pub. L. 95-91, the functions of the Secretary of the Interior and the Federal Power Commission under Section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944, 16 U.S.C. 825s, relating to the Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) were transferred to and vested in the Secretary of Energy. By Delegation Order No. 0204-108, effective December 14, 1983, the Secretary of Energy delegated to the Administrator of Southwestern the authority to develop power and transmission rates, delegated to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy the authority to confirm, approve, and place in effect such rates on an interim basis and delegated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to confirm and approve on a final basis or to disapprove rates developed by the Administrator under the delegation. Delegation Order No. 0204-108, as amended, was rescinded and subsequently replaced by Delegation Orders 00-037.00 (December 6, 2001) and 00-001-00A (September 17, 2002). The Deputy Secretary issued this rate order pursuant to said delegations.

Background

The Sam Rayburn Dam Project (Rayburn) is located on the Angelina River in the State of Texas in the Neches River Basin. Since the beginning of its operation in 1965, it has been marketed as an isolated project, under contract with Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Contract No. DE-PM75-92SW00215).

In the FERC Docket No. EF03-4021-000, issued January 31, 2003, for the period October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2006, the FERC confirmed and approved the current annual Sam Rayburn Dam rate of $2,013,024. Start Printed Page 68340

Discussion

Southwestern's 2004 Current Power Repayment Study (PRS) indicates that the existing annual power rate of $2,013,024 does not represent the lowest possible rate needed to meet cost recovery criteria. The increased revenue requirement is due to an increase in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) operations and maintenance expense estimates. The Revised PRS indicates that an increase in annual revenues of $500,676 beginning January 1, 2005, is sufficient to accomplish repayment of the Federal investment in the required number of years. Accordingly, Southwestern developed a proposed rate schedule based on that increased revenue requirement.

Title 10, Part 903, Subpart A of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Procedures for Public Participation in Power and Transmission Rate Adjustment,” has been followed in connection with the proposed rate adjustment. More specifically, opportunities for public review and comment during a 90-day period on the proposed Rayburn power rate were announced by notice published in the Federal Register, July 21, 2004, 69 FR 43580. A Public Information Forum was scheduled to be held July 27, 2004, and a Public Comment Forum was scheduled to be held August 26, 2004, both in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both forums were canceled as no one expressed an intent to participate. Written comments were due by October 19, 2004. Southwestern provided the Federal Register notice, together with supporting data, to the customer and interested parties for review and comment during the formal period of public participation. In addition, prior to the formal 90-day public participation process, Southwestern discussed with the customer representatives the preliminary information on the proposed rate adjustment. Only one formal comment was received from Gillis & Angley, Counsellors at Law, on behalf of Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency and Vinton Public Power Authority, (organizations within Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc.) which stated that they had no objection to the proposed rate adjustment.

Upon conclusion of the comment period in October 2004, Southwestern finalized the PRS and rate schedule for the proposed annual rate of $2,513,700 which is the lowest possible rate needed to satisfy repayment criteria. This rate represents an annual increase of 24.9 percent.

Availability of Information

Information regarding this rate increase, including studies and other supporting material, is available for public review and comment in the offices of Southwestern Power Administration, One West Third Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103.

Comments and Responses

Southwestern received one written comment in which customer representatives expressed no objection to the proposed rate adjustment.

Other Issues

There were no other issues raised during the informal meeting or during the formal public participation period.

Administrator's Certification

The 2004 Revised Rayburn PRS indicates that the annual power rate of $2,513,700 will repay all costs of the project, including amortization of the power investment consistent with provisions of the Department of Energy (DOE) Order No. RA 6120.2. In accordance with Delegation Order Nos. 00-037.00 (December 6, 2001) and 00-001.00A (September 17, 2002), and Section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944, the Administrator has determined that the proposed Rayburn power rate is consistent with applicable law and the lowest possible rate consistent with sound business principles.

Environment

The environmental impact of the rate increase proposal was evaluated in consideration of DOE's guidelines for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, 10 CFR 1021, and was determined to fall within the class of actions that are categorically excluded from the requirements of preparing either an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment.

Order

In view of the foregoing and pursuant to the authority delegated to me, I hereby confirm, approve and place in effect on an interim basis, for the period January 1, 2005, through September 30, 2008, the annual Sam Rayburn Dam Rate of $2,513,700 for the sale of power and energy from Sam Rayburn Dam to the Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc., under Contract No. DE-PM75-92SW00215, dated October 7, 1992. This rate shall remain in effect on an interim basis through September 30, 2008, or until the FERC confirms and approves the rate on a final basis.

Dated: November 16, 2004.

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Kyle E. McSlarrow,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 04-26038 Filed 11-23-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P