Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Farmers or Cooperative) adopts Cooperative Staff’s recommendations to approve onc new policy which addresses: the use of demand- response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during period of unusually high demand. This policy implements a modified version of the new standards that federal law required the Cooperative to consider pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), as amended by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (11JA) (Public Law 117-58, also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law”), and found at 16 U.S.C. § 2621(d)(20) and (21),(hereinafter, PURPA).
On May 23, 2023, Farmers’ Board of Directors (Board) adopted a notice initiating this rule-making project to consider and determine whether to implement the PURPA Standards. The notice set forth the procedures and a timeline for the project. Cooperative Staff published notice of the proceeding on the Cooperative’s website which was publicized to members through the Cooperative’s monthly magazine. The notice asked members and interested persons to submit initial written comments on the standards being considered in the project by August 1, 2023. Farmers received no comments, initial or otherwise.
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, as amended, required Farmers to consider the standards and determine whether to implement them at the Cooperative. In making its determination, Farmers examined the effect that implementing the standards would have on the members, considered the comments filed in the project, and assessed whether implementing the standards would fulfill one or more of PURPA’s three purposes, which are to encourage: a) the conservation of energy supplied by the cooperative; b) the optimal efficiency of cooperative facilities and resources; and c¢) equitable rates for cooperative members (the PURPA purposes). Under PURPA, the Cooperative had the option of declining to implement one or more of the standards if it determined that implementation would not be in the best interest of the Cooperative’s members, even if implementation would fulfill one or more of the PURPA purposes. Farmers has determined that implementing a modified version of one of the ratemaking standards fulfills one or more of the PURPA purposes and is an appropriate course of action for the Cooperative.
COMMENTS ON PROPOSED POLICIES AND COOPERATIVE’S RESPONSES
No comments were received to which the Cooperative would provide a response.
The Cooperative has exclusive jurisdiction and authority to adopt the policies below pursuant to Section 2621(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, and Sections 41.055 and 41.061 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act, TEX. UTIL. CODE ANN. §§41.055 and 41.061. The Cooperative’s Board of Directors has received no comments in this project, and hereby approves the modified policy as set forth below.
PURPA MODIFIED STANDARD
Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc. will endeavor to promote the use of demand-response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand or at other instances which best serve the Cooperative’s interests.
Such programs may require the establishment of rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices.
Electric Vehicle Charging Programs
Farmers Electric Cooperative is not a state as set forth in the PURPA Standards and therefore does not adopt the relevant standard.
Adopted this 26™ day of September, 2023.
Notice of PURPA Consideration and Hearing Process
Issued: May 23, 2023
1. Demand-Response Practices.
a) In General
Each electric utility shall promote the use of demand-response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand.
b) Rate Recovery
A nonregulated electric utility may establish rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (a).
2. Electric Vehicle Charging Programs.
Each state shall consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that.
a) Promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
b) Improve the customer experience associated with electric vehicle charging, including by reducing charging times.
c) Accelerate third-party investment in electric vehicle charging; and
d) Appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles and electric vehicles charging infrastructure
Farmers Electric Cooperative has established procedures and schedules in connection with its consideration of these new PURPA standards. To ensure the views of members are received and considered regarding whether it is appropriate to implement such standards, all active members (on or after the date of this Notice) of the Cooperative may participate by submitting comments following the schedule set forth below.
- Notice of Public Hearing Process and Schedule – issued May 23, 2023
- Initial Comments – to be submitted on or before August 1, 2023
- Reply Comments – to be submitted on or before September 1, 2023
- Determination and Announcement by the Cooperative – to be rendered on or before November 15, 2023