[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 250 (Tuesday, December 30, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79877-79878]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-30967]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Southwestern Power Administration


Sam Rayburn Dam Power Rate Schedule

AGENCY: Southwestern Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Rate Order.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to Delegation Order Nos. 00-037.00, effective 
December 6, 2001, and 00-001.00C, effective January 31, 2007, the 
Deputy Secretary has approved and placed into effect on an interim 
basis Rate Order No. SWPA-60, which increases the power rate for the 
Sam Rayburn Dam (Rayburn) pursuant to the following Sam Rayburn Dam 
Rate Schedule:

    Rate Schedule SRD-08, Wholesale Rates for Hydropower and Energy 
Sold to Sam Rayburn Dam Electric Cooperative, Inc., (Contract No. 
DE-PM75-92SW00215).


DATES: The effective period for the rate schedule specified in Rate 
Order No. SWPA-60 is January 1, 2009, through September 30, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James K. McDonald, Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Corporate Operations, Southwestern Power 
Administration, Department of Energy, One West Third Street, Tulsa, 
Oklahoma 74103, (918) 595-6690, jim.mcdonald@swpa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The existing hydroelectric power rate for 
Rayburn is $3,456,696 per year. The Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission approved this rate on a final basis on February 29, 2008, 
for the period October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2011, under 
Docket No. EF07-4021-000 (122 FERC ] 62,196). However, the current rate 
is inadequate to meet cost recovery criteria for the period January 1, 
2009 through September 30, 2012. The 2008 Rayburn Power Repayment 
Studies indicate the need for an increase in the annual rate by 
$493,176 or 14.3 percent beginning January 1, 2009.
    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'' in connection with the 
proposed rate schedule. On November 3, 2008, Southwestern published 
notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 65306) of a 30-day comment 
period, together with a Public Information and 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 
Rayburn. The public forum was canceled when no one expressed an 
intention to participate. Written comments were accepted through 
December 3, 2008. One comment was received from Gillis & Angley, LLP, 
Counsellors at Law, on behalf of Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Authority, 
the Vinton Public Power Authority, Sam Rayburn G&T and the Sam Rayburn 
Dam Electric Cooperative, 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-60, on an interim basis, 
which increases the existing Rayburn rate to $3,949,872, per year, for 
the period January 1, 2009, through September 30, 2012.

    Dated: December 17, 2008.
Jeffrey F. Kupfer,
Deputy Secretary.

United States of America.
Department of Energy.
Deputy Secretary of Energy.

In the Matter of: Southwestern Power Administration; Sam Rayburn Dam 
Project Rate; Order Confirming, Approving and Placing Increased Power 
Rate Schedule in Effect on an Interim Basis Rate Order No. SWPA-60.

    Pursuant to Sections 302(a) and 301(b) of the Department of Energy 
Organization Act, Public Law 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

[[Page 79878]]

No. 0204-108, as amended, was rescinded and subsequently replaced by 
Delegation Orders 00-037.00 (December 6, 2001) and 00-001-00C (January 
31, 2007). The Deputy Secretary issued this rate order pursuant to said 
delegations.

Background

    The Sam Rayburn Dam (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. (SRDEC) 
(Contract No. DE-PM75-92SW00215). SRDEC is comprised of two separate 
entities, the Sam Rayburn G&T, and the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power 
Agency.
    In the FERC Docket No. EF07-4021-000 (122 FERC ] 62196), issued 
February 29, 2008, for the period October 1, 2007, through September 
30, 2011, the FERC confirmed and approved the current annual Rayburn 
rate of $3,456,696). However, the current rate is inadequate to meet 
cost recovery criteria for the period January 1, 2009 through September 
30, 2012.

Discussion

    Southwestern's 2008 Current Power Repayment Study (PRS) indicates 
that the existing annual power rate of $3,456,696 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) projected operations and maintenance costs. 
The Revised PRS indicates that an increase in annual revenues of 
$493,176 beginning January 1, 2009, 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 
Adjustments and Extensions,'' has been followed in connection with the 
proposed rate adjustment. More specifically, opportunities for public 
review and comment during a 30-day period on the proposed Rayburn power 
rate were announced by a Federal Register (73 FR 65306) notice 
published on November 3, 2008. A Public Information and Comment Forum 
was scheduled to be held November 18, 2008, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 
forum was canceled as no one expressed an intention to participate. 
Written comments were due by December 3, 2008. Southwestern provided 
the Federal Register notice, together with requested 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 30-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, LLP, Counsellors at Law, on behalf of Sam Rayburn 
Municipal Power Agency, Vinton Public Power Authority, Sam Rayburn G&T 
and the 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 December 2008, 
Southwestern finalized the PRS and rate schedule for the proposed 
annual rate of $3,949,872, which is the lowest possible rate needed to 
satisfy repayment criteria. This rate represents an annual increase of 
14.3 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 the customer 
representative expressed no objection to the proposed rate adjustment.

Other Issues

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

Administrator's Certification

    The 2008 Revised Rayburn PRS indicates that the annual power rate 
of $3,949,872 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 00-001.00C 
(January 31, 2007), 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, 2009, through September 30, 2012, the annual 
Sam Rayburn Dam rate of $3,949,872 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, 2012, or until the FERC confirms and approves the rate on 
a final basis.

    Dated: December 17, 2008.
Jeffrey F. Kupfer,
Acting Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E8-30967 Filed 12-29-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P