Arkansas Public Service Commission seeks public input on utility plans for federal infrastructure funds

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 615 views 

The Arkansas Public Service Commission is seeking feedback on utilities’ plans to use federal money identified in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

On Dec. 28, the regulatory agency opened a docket item to investigate the utilities’ plans regarding the federal laws and how to take advantage of the money identified in them.

“The commission desires to provide a forum where jurisdictional utilities can share ideas for maximizing the benefits of the IRA and IIJA in their plans for providing utility service to Arkansas customers, including their integrated resources plans (IRPs), future resource acquisitions and requests for proposals, petitions for cost recovery through riders and rate cases, and energy efficiency programs,” according to the docket item. “The commission also desires to provide timely regulatory guidance to aid utilities as they revise their plans to consider the impacts of the IRA and IIJA.”

The commission is seeking feedback from electric utilities on proposals to support the state’s application for the Grid Innovation Program, a U.S. Department of Energy program that provides $5 billion for projects that use innovative approaches to transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure to enhance grid resilience and reliability. The deadline for this feedback is noon on Jan. 10 because the first part of the state’s application is due on Jan. 12.

Also, the commission is requesting feedback from all electric and gas utilities regarding how the federal laws will affect their revenue and rates over the next 10 years, infrastructure project planning and tax benefits passed on to customers. Those comments are due by noon on Feb. 15.