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Florida PSC Issues Order on Procedure Involving Tampa Electric


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    TALLAHASSEE, Florida, July 20 (TNSsro) -- The Florida Public Service Commission issued the following order on procedure (DOCKET NO. 20220122-EI; ORDER NO. PSC-2022-0278-PCO-EI) on July 19, 2022:

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    In re: Petition for limited proceeding rate increase to implement return on equity provisions in 2021 agreement, by Tampa Electric Company.

    ORDER ON PROCEDURE

    I. Case Background

    On July 1, 2022, Tampa Energy Company (TECO) filed a petition for a limited proceeding to implement the return on equity (ROE) trigger provisions in Paragraph 2(b) of the 2021 Stipulation and Settlement Agreement approved by the Commission by Order No. PSC-2021-0423-S-EI, issued November 10 , 2021./1 TECO requests, as specified in the 2021 Agreement, that (1) its current authorized ROE be increased by 25 basis points to be within a range of 9.25 percent to 11.25 percent with a mid-point of 10.20 percent, effective July 1, 2022, and (2) its base rates be increased in a manner and in an amount such that if collected for 12 consecutive months would total an additional $ 10 million.

    Section 2(b)(iv) of the 2021 Agreement provides that the Commission shall approve TECO's verified request for an equal percentage rate increase to recover the designated revenue requirement within 60 days following the filing of the Petition, and such rates will be effective with the first billing cycle following Commission approval.

    In order to timely effectuate the terms of the 2021 Agreement, this matter is hereby scheduled for hearing on August 16, 2022. To promote transparency and access to this proceeding, the Office of Public Counsel, Federal Executive Agencies, Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Florida Retail Federation, Walmart Inc., and West Central Florida Hospital Utility Alliance, who were all signatories to the 2021 Agreement, shall be parties to this docket.

    This Order is issued pursuant to the authority granted by Rule 28-106.211, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), which provides that the presiding officer before whom a case is pending may issue any orders necessary to effectuate discovery, prevent delay, and promote the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of a ll aspects of the case. Modifications to procedures governing parties to this docket may be made by subsequent procedural order.

    II. Procedural Matters

    Data Requests

    Commission staff and the parties shall be permitted a limited time to send no more than 150 data requests. Parties are directed to respond to the data requests in writing so the response is received within five business days of receipt of the request. All written data responses must be accompanied by an Affidavit identifying the persons providing the responses. All data responses must be received by August 10, 2022. Information obtained through data requests may be used by the parties in their oral arguments, by staff in advising the Commission, and by the Commissioners in consideration of TECO's Petition.

    Confidential Information Provided Pursuant to Data Requests

    Any information provided to the Commission staff pursuant to a discovery request by the staff or any other person and for which proprietary confidential business information status is requested pursuant to Section 366.093 Florida Statutes (F.S.), and Rule 25-22.006, F.A.C., shall be treated by the Commission as confidential. The information shall be exempt from Subsection 119.07(1), F.S., pending a formal ruling on such request by the Commission or pending return of the information to the person providing the information. If no determination of confidentiality has been made and the information has not been made a part of the evidentiary record in this proceeding, it shall be returned to the person providing the information. If a determination of confidentiality has been made and the information was not entered into the record of this proceeding, it shall be returned to the person providing the information within the time period set forth in Section 366.093, F.S. The Commission may determine that continued possession of the information is necessary for the Commission to conduct its business.

    Redacted versions of confidential filings may be served electronically, but in no instance may confidential information be electronically submitted. If the redacted version is served electronically, the confidential information (which may be on a CD, DVD, or flash drive) shall be filed with the Commission Clerk via hand-delivery, U.S. Mail, or overnight mail on the day that the redacted version was served via e-mail.

    When a party other than the Commission staff requests information through discovery that the respondent maintains as proprietary confidential business information, or when such a party would otherwise be entitled to copies of such information requested by other parties through discovery (e.g., interrogatory responses), that party and respondent shall endeavor in good faith to reach agreement that will allow for the exchange of such information on reasonable terms, as set forth in Rule 25-22.006(7)(b), F.A.C.

    Confidential Information at Hearing

    Information for which proprietary confidential business information status is requested pursuant to Section 366.093, F.S., and Rule 25-22.006, F.A.C., shall be treated by the Commission as confidential. The information shall be exempt from Subsection 119.07(1), F.S., pending a formal ruling on such request by the Commission or pending return of the information to the person providing the information. If no determination of confidentiality has been made and the information has not been made a part of the evidentiary record in this proceeding, it shall be returned to the person providing the information. If a determination of confidentiality has been made and the information was not entered into the record of this proceeding, it shall be returned to the person providing the information within the time period set forth in Section 366.093, F.S. The Commission may determine that continued possession of the information is necessary for the Commission to conduct its business.

    It is the policy of this Commission that all Commission hearings be open to the public at all times. The Commission also recognizes its obligation pursuant to Section 366.093, F.S., to protect proprietary confidential business information from disclosure outside the proceeding. Therefore, any party wishing to use any proprietary confidential business information, as that term is defined in Section 366.093, F.S., at the hearing shall adhere to the following:

    (1) When confidential information is used in the hearing that has not been filed as prefiled testimony or prefiled exhibits, parties must have copies for the Commissioners, necessary staff, and the court reporter, in red envelopes clearly marked with the nature of the contents and with the confidential information highlighted. Any party wishing to examine the confidential material that is not subject to an order granting confidentiality shall be provided a copy in the same fashion as provided to the Commissioners, subject to execution of any appropriate protective agreement with the owner of the material.

    (2) Counsel and witnesses are cautioned to avoid verbalizing confidential information in such a way that would compromise confidentiality. Therefore, confidential information should be presented by written exhibit when reasonably possible.

    At the conclusion of that portion of the hearing that involves confidential information, all copies of confidential exhibits shall be returned to the proffering party. If a confidential exhibit has been admitted into evidence, the copy provided to the court reporter shall be retained in the Office of Commission Clerk's confidential files. If such material is admitted into the evidentiary record at hearing and is not otherwise subject to a request for confidential classification filed with the Commission, the source of the information must file a request for confidential classification of the information within 21 days of the conclusion of the hearing, as set forth in Rule 25-22.006(8)(b), F.A.C., if continued confidentiality of the information is to be maintained.

    Any requests to hold portions of the hearing exempt from the requirements of Subsection 119.07(1), F.S., must be made in writing and filed with the Commission Clerk by August 1, 2022.

    III. Hearing Procedures

    The purpose of this hearing is for the Commission to take oral and written evidence or argument regarding the approval of TECO's Petition for a limited proceeding to implement the ROE trigger provisions of the 2021 Agreement. The issues to be considered at the hearing are as follows:

    1) Should TECO's authorized ROE and range of returns on equity be revised due to the trigger provisions of the 2021 Settlement effective as of July 1, 2022?

    2) What is the appropriate annual base revenue increase?

    3) Should this docket be closed?

    The hearing agenda for August 16, 2022, will include the following:

    1) Parties present Opening Statements of no more than five minutes per party;

    2) Parties present evidence and respond to questions from Commissioners regarding the Petition.

    Upon the admission of all testimony and evidence, and completion of the Commission's questions at hearing, the hearing record will be closed. At that time, the Commission may render a bench decision, provided all parties are willing to waive filing of post-hearing briefs. If a bench decision is not made, the Commission will render a decision during an Agenda Conference, date and time to be determined. Briefs, if any, will be due August 23, 2022.

    The Commission has jurisdiction in this matter pursuant to Chapters 120 and 366, F.S., and is proceeding under its authority under Sections 366.04, 366.05, 366.06, and 120.57, F.S.

    Based on the foregoing, it is

    ORDERED by Commissioner Mike La Rosa, as Prehearing Officer, that the provisions of this Order shall govern this proceeding unless modified by the Commission.

    By ORDER of Commissioner Mike La Rosa, as Prehearing Officer, this 19th day of July, 2022.

    Mike La Rosa, Commissioner and Prehearing Officer

    Florida Public Service Commission

    2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard

    Tallahassee, Florida 32399

    (850) 413-6770

    www.floridapsc.com

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    Footnotes:

    1/ In Docket Nos. 20210034-EI, In re: Petition for rate increase by Tampa Electric Company, and 20200264-EI, In re: Petition for approval of 2020 depreciation and dismantlement study and capital recovery schedules, by Tampa Electric Company.

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    Original text here: http://www.floridapsc.com/library/filings/2022/04804-2022/04804-2022.pdf

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