3 May, 2002 – ScottishPower today said that the Utah Public Service Commission (UPSC) granted its subsidiary PacifiCorp approximately $147m for the recovery of its net excess power costs in Utah, related to the western power crisis in 2000 and 2001.
Although PacifiCorp originally requested rights to recover $205m this will be a welcome outcome for Scottish Power and will go some way to offset the losses it has incurred in the US since acquiring PacifiCorp in 1999. The 72 per cent recovery is slightly higher than the 65 per cent recovery rate the group has said it is expecting from combined claims in Utah and Oregon.
Recovery will be through increased customer billing and is effective from 1 April 2002.
PacifiCorp Chief Executive Officer Judi Johansen said, “We believe the order provides a strong level of recovery of allowable costs incurred in Utah over the period.”
Within the order, PacifiCorp agreed not to file any rate increase until May 2003 and withhold the effective date of any possible future rate increases until after 1 January 2004. Exceptions for unforeseen financial or legislative developments were written into the order.
PacifiCorp was forced to buy power at very high rates on the spot electricity market when its Hunter power plant in Utah broke down at the height of the western US power crisis. It then locked into long-term power purchase contracts at between $200/MWh and $300/MWh but was hit for a second time when spot prices collapsed to about $30/MWh.
A decision on allowable compensation in Oregon, which was also hit by the power crisis, is expected in June.