By Ronda Fears Journal Record Staff Reporter A draft biennial
Electric System Planning Report being prepared under the tutelage
of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, pursuant to a 1983 law,
predicts no new electric generating capacity will be needed in the
state until 2004.
The report assumes peak demand growth of at least 1.5 percent
and energy requirement growth of 2.3 percent annually through 2000,
with a reserve margin of 9 percent. The reserve margin is
significantly lower than 18 percent or 15 percent used by the
Southwest Power Pool, which report authors said would cost some $15
million annually to achieve and push up capacity addition
requirements to 2000 or 2002.
Numerous material changes have been implemented in the latest
report, which is in draft form and was discussed in a technical
conference Thursday among commission staff, report authors and
Evidencing a philosophically different approach to the charge
mandated by the Oklahoma Legislature, the scope of the report was
expanded and enhanced in the 1991 document, which examines the
period 1991-2000. It is expected to be finalized before the end of
Issues such as non-utility cogeneration, coordination among the
eight electric providers in the state, demand side management and
forecasting capacity expansion and load growths were addressed more
specifically for the first time.
Before, the report consisted basically of a compilation of
figures supplied by the various electric providers and little more
outside a brief executive summary of the figures. That was the
necessary achievement level perceived by previous public utility
directors at the commission, said staff member Steve Wilt.
With a new public utility division director and a new panel of
commissioners, the direction of the report has changed, Wilt said.
Too, the scope of the report was impacted greatly by
cogeneration hearings since the 1989 report. Contested hearings
delved more deeply into the planning process employed by the two
major electricity providers in Oklahoma _ Oklahoma Gas and Electric
Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, commission staff said.
To accomplish the expanded scope of this fourth report, the
corporation commission contracted for the work for the first time.
Decision Focus Inc. of Los Altos, Calif., is preparing the report
for the commission.
Some of the regulated utilities in Oklahoma perhaps feel the
commission is too ambitious in its latest undertaking.
"The report is not even consistent . . . with some of the
commission's decisions this year," said Jack Fite, an attorney for
In a contested cogeneration case, the corporation commission
ruled in July that PSO's system would not need additional
generation capacity until 1999.
"The report attacks what public utilities are doing," said OG&E
in written comments on the report.
Conversely, Smith Cogeneration Inc., a private power company,
said in written comments: "The report is biased toward providers
(electric companies)." The report encompasses the systems of OG&E,
PSO, Grand River Dam Authority, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority,
Southwestern Public Service Co., Western Farmers Electric
Cooperative, Empire District Electric Co. …