[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 2012)]
[Pages 2533-2535]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-799]



Western Area Power Administration

Boulder Canyon Project

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Base Charge and Rates.


SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), a power 
marketing administration within the Department of Energy (DOE), is 
proposing an adjustment to the Boulder Canyon Project (BCP) electric 
service base charge and rates. The current base charge and rates expire 
September 30, 2012, under Rate Schedule BCP-F8. The existing base 
charge is being adjusted to ensure it includes all annual costs 
including operation, maintenance, replacements, interest expense, and 
to repay investment obligations within the required period. The 
proposed base charge will provide sufficient revenue to cover all 
annual costs and to repay investment obligations within the allowable 
period. A detailed rate package that identifies the reasons for the 
base charge and rates adjustment will be available in March 2012. The 
proposed base charge and rates are scheduled to become effective 
October 1, 2012, and will remain in effect through September 30, 2013. 
This Federal Register notice initiates the formal process for the 
proposed base charge and rates.

DATES: The consultation and comment period will begin today and will 
end April 17, 2012. Western will present a detailed explanation of the 
proposed base charge and rates at a public information forum March 28, 
2012, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST), in Phoenix, 
Arizona. Western will accept oral and written comments at a public 
comment forum April 11, 2012, beginning at 10:30 a.m. MST, at the same 
location. Western will accept written comments any time during the 
consultation and comment period.

ADDRESSES: The public information forum and public comment forum will 
be held at the Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, 
located at 615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, on the dates cited 
above. Written comments should be sent to Darrick Moe, Regional 
Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power 
Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, email 
moe@wapa.gov. Written comments may also be faxed to (602) 605-2490, 
attention: Jack Murray. Western will post information about the rate 
processes on its Web site at http://www.wapa.gov/dsw/pwrmkt/BCP/RateAdjust.htm. Western will also post official comments received via 
letter, fax, and email to this Web site. Western must receive written 
comments by the end of the consultation and comment period to ensure 
they are considered in Western's decision process.
    As access to Western facilities is controlled, any U.S. citizen 
wishing to attend any meeting held at Western

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must present an official form of picture identification, such as a U.S. 
driver's license, U.S. passport, U.S. Government ID, or U.S. Military 
ID, at the time of the meeting. Foreign nationals should contact 
Western 30 days in advance of the meeting to obtain the necessary form 
for admittance to Western.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert 
Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, 
P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, (602) 605-2442, email 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed base charge and rates for BCP 
electric service are designed to recover an annual revenue requirement 
that includes the investment repayment, interest, operation and 
maintenance, replacements, payments to states, visitor services, and 
uprating payments. The total costs are offset by the projected revenue 
from water sales, visitor center, ancillary services, and late fees. 
The annual revenue requirement is the base charge for electric service 
and is divided equally between capacity and energy. The annual 
composite rate is the base charge divided by the annual energy sales.
    Rate Schedule BCP-F8, Rate Order No. WAPA-150 was approved on an 
interim basis by the Deputy Secretary of Energy on September 16, 2010, 
for a 5-year period beginning on October 1, 2010, and ending September 
30, 2015.\1\ The schedule received final approval from the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on December 9, 2010.\2\ Western's 
existing rate formula for electric service requires recalculation of 
the base charge and rates annually based on updated financial and 
hydrology data. The proposed base charge for fiscal year (FY) 2013 
under Rate Schedule BCP-F8 is $86,800,488, and the proposed composite 
rate is 20.45 mills/kWh.

    \1\ 75 FR 57912 (Sept. 23, 2010).
    \2\ 133 FERC ] 62,229.

    The proposed BCP electric service base charge represents an 
increase of approximately 3 percent compared to the FY 2012 base 
charge. The 3 percent increase is based on the most current financial 
data available at this time, which was taken from the latest rate-base 
power repayment study, and also used to determine FY 2012 base charge 
and rates. However, given an increase in current energy projections the 
preliminary composite rate is forecasted to decrease 3 percent. The 
following table compares the existing and proposed base charge and 
composite rate. This proposal, effective October 1, 2012, is 
preliminary and is subject to change upon publication of final formula 

                       Comparison of Existing and Proposed Base Charge and Composite Rate
                                                           Existing October 1,  Proposed October 1,
                                                              2011  through         2012 through       % Change
                                                           September 30,  2012   September 30, 2013
Base Charge ($)..........................................           84,536,772           86,800,488            3
Composite Rate (mills/kWh)...............................                21.11                20.45           -3

    The increase in the proposed base charge is due to increases in the 
annual operation and maintenance costs, visitor center costs, and the 
uprating program principal payments. Since there is no projected year-
end carryover from FY 2012, the result is an overall increase in the 
base charge for FY 2013. The decrease in the composite rate, despite 
the base charge increase, is due to higher energy projections resulting 
from improved hydrology, and the corresponding increases to Lake Mead 

Legal Authority

    Since the proposed rates constitute a major rate adjustment as 
defined by 10 CFR part 903, Western will hold both a public information 
forum and a public comment forum. After review of public comments, 
Western will take further action on the Proposed Base Charge and Rates 
consistent with 10 CFR parts 903 and 904.
    Western is establishing an electric service base charge and rates 
for BCP under the DOE Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7152); the 
Reclamation Act of 1902 (ch. 1093, 32 Stat. 388), as amended and 
supplemented by subsequent laws, particularly section 9(c) of the 
Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)); and other acts 
that specifically apply to the project involved.
    By Delegation Order No. 00-037.00, effective December 6, 2001, the 
Secretary of Energy delegated: (1) The authority to develop power and 
transmission rates to Western's Administrator; (2) the authority to 
confirm, approve, and place such rates into effect on an interim basis 
to the Deputy Secretary of Energy; and (3) the authority to confirm, 
approve, and place into effect on a final basis, to remand or to 
disapprove such rates to FERC. Existing DOE procedures for public 
participation in power rate adjustments (10 CFR part 903) were 
published on September 18, 1985 (50 FR 87835).

Availability of Information

    All brochures, studies, comments, letters, memorandums, or other 
documents that Western initiates or uses to develop the proposed rates 
are available for inspection and copying at the Desert Southwest 
Customer Service Regional Office, Western Area Power Administration, 
615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. Many of these documents and 
supporting information are also available on Western's Web site at 

Ratemaking Procedure Requirements

Environmental Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347); Council on Environmental Quality 
Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); and DOE NEPA Regulations (10 CFR 
part 1021), Western has determined this action is categorically 
excluded from preparing an environmental assessment or an environmental 
impact statement.

Determination Under Executive Order 12866

    Western has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under 
Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, no clearance of this notice by the 
Office of Management and Budget is required.

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    Dated: January 9, 2012.
Timothy J. Meeks,
[FR Doc. 2012-799 Filed 1-17-12; 8:45 am]