Closed Board Proceedings

 

This list includes dockets for which a docket-specific information page was prepared.

Rate Case Proceedings (RPUs)

RPU-2001-0005/RPU-2001-0003:  MidAmerican Energy Company Requests for an Electric Rate Increase

On June 11, 2001, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) filed with the Board a proposed electric rate increase of $50,529,035, identified as Docket No. RPU-01-5. The proposed increase was filed in response to the Office of Consumer Advocate's (OCA) March 14, 2001, request for a $77,002,803 reduction in MidAmerican's electric rates, docketed by the Board as RPU-01-3.

In anticipation of a settlement agreement being filed, the Board suspended the procedural schedule in RPU-01-03 on July 9, 2001, and announced that no procedural schedule would be established in RPU-01-5. On July 13, 2001, a joint settlement agreement was filed with the IUB by MidAmerican, the OCA, and three other intervenors. Intervenors in the contested case that were signatories to the agreement included the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Iowa State Conference, Deere and Company, and Local 109 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers AFL and CIO. Intervenors in the case who did not agree to the settlement agreement were Archer Daniels Midland Company  (ADM) and Ag Processing Inc.  The settlement proposed to keep MidAmerican electric rates at current levels through December 31, 2005.

On December 21, 2001, the Board issued an order approving the settlement with minor modifications. MidAmerican, the OCA, and the three other signatories to the settlement accepted the Board's conditions, which included the addition of customer protections enabling the IUB to review company progress toward construction of additional generating plants and to order annually the refund of customer funds held for that purpose, if necessary. The Board also modified a section of the settlement to allow any person, at any time, to propose revenue neutral rate design changes directly with the IUB.  Though these changes would be revenue neutral to MidAmerican, they could result in increases or decreases for some individual customers or customer classes.

During the period covered by the settlement, MidAmerican is allowed to earn up to a 12% return on equity (ROE). If MEC earns an annual ROE of more than 12%, but less than 14%, MidAmerican will retain one-half of the higher earnings. The remaining one-half share for customers will help reduce future customer rate levels by offsetting certain costs (Allowances for Funds Used During Construction) of future MEC generation plant investments. If ROE exceeds 14%, the amounts between 12% and 14% ROE would be split as discussed above; for amounts over 14%, the share retained by MidAmerican will decline to one-sixth, and the share used to reduce future customer rate levels will increase to five-sixths.

On January 10, 2002, ADM filed an application for rehearing of the Board's order approving the settlement. A February 6, 2002, Board order clarified the Board's position on several concerns raised by ADM and denied the application for rehearing. The Board's decision was not appealed to Iowa district court and is now final.

 

RPU-2002-0002: MidAmerican Energy Company Request for a Gas Rate Increase

On March 15, 2002, MidAmerican Energy Company filed a proposal with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) seeking a $26.6 million annual increase in its rates and charges associated with the delivery of natural gas. The application and proposed tariffs were assigned Docket No. RPU-02-2. 

In May 2002, the Board held customer comment hearings in Des Moines, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City to receive comments from the general public.  Written comments also were accepted.  Comments made at the public meetings and all written comments received were added to the permanent file for the rate proceeding.

On June 12, 2002, the IUB issued an order granting MidAmerican a temporary rate increase of 2.2% or about $13.8 million.

On July 15, 2002, all but one of the parties filed a proposed settlement of all of the issues concerning the proposed permanent rate increase. The settlement proposed that MidAmerican be allowed to increase rates by $17.7 million or 2.6 percent.  One party contested the settlement on the issues of the return on common equity and rate disparities between MidAmerican's east and west zones. A hearing on those two issues was held on September 16, 2002, in the IUB hearing room.

The Board on November 8, 2002, approved the settlement agreement, allowing MidAmerican Energy Company a 2.6 percent permanent revenue increase worth $17,746,034 in additional annual revenues from charges associated with the delivery of natural gas. MidAmerican customers already received a 2.2 percent temporary increase ($13.8 million) in June, so approval of the settlement allows only an additional 0.4 percent increase above the temporary rates.

Under the settlement agreement, MidAmerican will reduce the differences in rates for natural gas delivery between its east and west zones. The company’s two rate zones resulted from the merger of Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company and Midwest Gas Company, which the IUB allowed in 1995. MidAmerican’s east system includes Bettendorf, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Ottumwa, and West Liberty. Its west system includes Algona, Charles City, Clarion, the Des Moines metro area, Fort Madison, Hampton, Humboldt, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, Winterset, and Waterloo. The IUB also ordered MidAmerican to eliminate any remaining rate zone disparities in its next permanent rate case application.

As of February 2002, MidAmerican reported serving 513,616 gas customers (463,278 residential customers) in its two Iowa rate zones. Although all customers will be impacted, the approved increase will affect individual customer bills differently because rates and service charges vary by customer class and rate zone.

 

RPU-2008-0003: Aquila, Inc., n/k/a Black Hills Energy's Request for a Gas Rate Increase

On June 3, 2009, the Iowa Utilities Board issued an order allowing Black Hills to generate an additional $10.39 million (5.87 percent) annually for natural gas service distribution in Iowa. Under a settlement agreement approved by the Board, Black Hills’ monthly customer charges will continue to be $15.60 for residential and $23.60 for non-residential customers, as they have been under temporary rates since June 13, 2008. Residential customer charges were $10.56 and non-residential charges were $15.68 before Black Hills filed its rate increase request in this case. The temporary rate increase was about 5.3 percent ($9.38 million) and did not require pre-approval from the Board. 

Background information:

On June 2, 2008, Aquila filed a petition asking to increase its natural gas service rates by about 7.6 percent to generate an additional $13.56 million annually. A temporary rate increase of about 5.3 percent ($9.38 million), not requiring pre-approval from the Board, went into effect on June 13, 2008.  In addition to the general rate increase request, Aquila has requested a three-year pilot program for a Capital Additions Tracker which would recover capital costs of infrastructure improvements. On August 12, the Board issued an order which modified the procedural schedule for this docket.

In August, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) held several hearings to receive customer comments on the utility’s proposal to increase its natural gas service rates in Iowa.  Comment hearings were held as follows:

Thursday, August 7, 2008 –  Iowa Communications Network (ICN) hearing

  • DMACC Newton Campus, 600 North 2nd Avenue West, Room 118, Newton
  • Decorah High School, 100 East Claiborne Drive, ICN Room, Decorah
  • Forest City High School, 206 West School Street, ICN Room, Forest City
  • Spencer High School, 800 East 3rd Street, ICN Room, Spencer
  • Webster City High School, 1001 Lynx Avenue, ICN Room, Webster City

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - NICC Town Clock Center for Professional Development, 680 Main Street, Dubuque
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - Council Bluffs Public Library,  400 Willow Avenue, Council Bluffs.

 

RPU-2009-0002: Alliant Energy/Interstate Power and Light Company's Request for an Electric Rate Increase

On March 17, 2009, Alliant Energy/Interstate Power and Light Company (Alliant/IPL) filed a proposal to increase its Iowa retail electric rates. Alliant/IPL is requesting a permanent rate change to increase its annual revenues by approximately $171 million or 17 percent. As allowed by Iowa law, Alliant/IPL implemented a temporary rate increase of 7 percent ($84 million) in March 2009.  This request was docketed as RPU-2009-0002.

Seven consumer comment meetings were held as follows:

  • Osceola:  Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Clarke High School Auditorium, 800 North Jackson
  • Marion:  Thursday, April 30, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Kirkwood Training & Outreach Services Center (KTOS), 3375 Armar Drive
  • Fort Madison:  Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - St. Mary's Parish Center, 415 - 11th Street
  • Ottumwa:  Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Ottumwa High School Auditorium, 501 East Second Street
  • Nevada:  Thursday, May 14, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Gates Memorial Hall, South Room, 825 - 15th Street
  • Mason City:  Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Muse-Norris Conference Center, Rooms 180DEF, North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), 500 College Drive
  • Dubuque:  Thursday, May 21, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Grand River Center, Meeting Rooms 2/3, 500 Bell Street

An evidentiary hearing to cross-examine expert witness testimony in this rate case was held the week of October 5, 2009. Public documents filed in this rate case may be viewed from the Board's Electronic Filing System. The final written decision and order in this rate case was issued on January 19, 2010.  Applications by the parties for rehearing were due by February 8, 2010.

 

RPU-2009-0003: MidAmerican Energy Company Advanced Ratemaking Principles

On March 25, 2009, MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) requested an Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) review to establish advance ratemaking principles for up to 1,001 megawatts of proposed new wind generation to be built in Iowa between 2009 and 2012. At the same time, MEC and the Office of Consumer Advocate filed a negotiated advance ratemaking principles settlement agreement for the Board’s approval. The proposed project is called the Wind VII Iowa Project. Final determination of site locations for the project was not yet completed.  The request was docketed as RPU-2009-0003.

On April 9, 2009, the Board issued an order docketing the case. The Board established a procedural schedule in an order dated April 22, 2009. A hearing was held, beginning on August 10, 2009. Intervenors in the case, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and Iberdrola Rewewable, Inc., claimed that awarding MEC advance ratemaking principles would give MEC a competitive advantage in the wholesale market for wind generation. As they are not rate-regulated utilities, NextEra and Iberdrola are not eligible to receive advance ratemaking principles under the Iowa statute. As a rate-regulated utility providing retail service, MEC is subject to limits on its return on equity; NextEra and Iberdrola, as independent power producers are not. MEC stated that the project would benefit its retail customers by helping it fulfill environmental compliance needs, energy needs, capacity needs, customer pricing needs, fuel diversity needs, economic development needs, and Iowa energy policy needs.

The determination of ratemaking principles has no immediate or direct impact on customer rates. The proposed wind generation project in this case must first be built and placed into service, and cost recovery sought in a future rate case. A rate-regulated utility such as MEC cannot change its rates until the completion of the future rate case.

The IUB has had authority to establish advance ratemaking principles for proposed Iowa-based generating facilities since 2001 when the Iowa Legislature approved a statute that encourages the development of new electric generation by rate-regulated utilities in the state. In addition to being set in advance, advance ratemaking principles will be effective for the regulated life of the project. Prior to 2001, utility companies were required to await decisions in rate cases brought to the IUB after new generation sources were actually in service before learning how regulators would treat certain aspects of their investment. Those rate treatments were subject to change over the life of the facility, but advance ratemaking principles are not.

Board orders issued and public documents filed in this case are available for review or download from the IUB Electronic Filing System Web site.

 

RPU-2009-0004: Iowa-American Water Company's Request for a Water Rate Increase

On October 8, 2009, the IUB issued an order accepting a settlement agreement (Settlement) proposed by Iowa-American Water Company (Iowa-American) and the Office of Consumer Advocate (Consumer Advocate) in Docket No. RPU-2009-0004. The Settlement resolves all revenue issues in the case. The Settlement allows Iowa-American to increase its General Service rates by approximately 26.6 percent in the Quad Cities District and by approximately 21.9 percent in the Clinton District. In its order approving the Settlement the IUB required Iowa-American to equalize the two District’s rates. The effect of equalizing rates will be that the two Districts General Service Customers will no longer be charged different rates for the same service. Rates other than General Service rates will remain as filed for temporary rates.

Background information

On April 30, 2009, Iowa-American Water Company filed a proposal to increase its water rates.  Iowa-American is requesting a permanent rate change to increase its annual revenues by approximately $9.4 million (34.8 percent).  Iowa-American seeks to implement a portion of this proposed rate change with a temporary rate increase of approximately $7.9 million (29.19 percent) while the final decision in this case is pending.  A decision on temporary rates is expected by July 29, 2009. A final decision in this rate case is anticipated by March 1, 2010. If the final rate approval is less than the temporary rates established, the over-collection is subject to refund plus interest.

Iowa-American provides service to customers in two districts, its Quad Cities and Clinton Districts. Two customer comment meetings were held in early June:

  • Clinton:  Thursday, June 4, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - Clinton Community College Technology Center, Room 10, 1951 Manufacturing Drive
  • Bettendorf:  Thursday, June 11, 2009, 5:30 p.m. Scott Community College Student Life Center, Room 2300, 500 Belmont Road

All verbal comments provided at customer comment meetings become part of the permanent file for the rate case. 

On July 27, 2009, the Board issued an order allowing Iowa-American Water Company (Iowa-American) an estimated 26 percent temporary rate increase while the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) continues to consider permanent rates in this case. Iowa-American could generate about $7.14 million in additional annual revenue from the temporary rates approved by the IUB, which is about three-quarters of $1 million less than it had requested. In addition, the IUB adjusted the allocation of certain costs for temporary rates between the utility’s Clinton and Quad Cities service districts to temporarily raise overall rates by approximately 26 percent in both service districts.

 

 

 

RPU-2010-0001: Alliant Energy/Interstate Power and Light Company's Request for an Electric Rate Increase 

The IUB’s decision meeting on permanent rates in Docket No. RPU-2010-0001 was held on Wednesday, December 15, 2010.  The final written order was issued on January 10, 2011. A request for rehearing was filed and the Board issued its Order on Rehearing on February 25, 2011.

Background Information:

On March 10, 2010, Alliant/IPL filed a petition seeking a permanent annual revenue increase of approximately $163 million (14 percent). As permitted by Iowa law, a temporary increase of about 10 percent ($119 million), not requiring pre-approval of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), was implemented on March 20, 2010. If the permanent rates granted are less than the temporary rates, customers will receive a refund plus interest for any over-collection. The impact on customer rates will vary according to customer class and rate zone.  Eight customer comment meetings were held to allow verbal questions and comments to be directed to representatives of the utility, the IUB, and the Office of Consumer Advocate, which represents the general interests of customers in IUB proceedings.

Consumer comment meetings:

  • Peosta - Wednesday, April 7 @ 1:30 pm.  Peosta Community Center, 7896 Burds Road
  • Marion - Wednesday, April 7 @ 6:30 pm.   Kirkwood Training and Outreach Service Center (KTOS), 3375 Armar Drive
  • Spirit Lake - Wednesday, April 14 @ 1:30 pm.  Community Room, Dickinson County Courthouse, 1802 Hill Street
  • Mason City - Thursday, April 15 @ 6:30 pm:  NIACC Campus, Muse-Norris Conference Center, Room 180A, 500 College Drive
  • Newton - Tuesday, April 20 @ 6:30 pm:  Newton High School Auditorium, 800 East 4th Street South
  • Osceola - Wednesday, April 21 @ 6:30 pm:  Clarke High School Auditorium, 800 North Jackson
  • Fort Madison - Tuesday, April 27 @ 1:30 pm:  St. Mary’s Parish Center, 415 -11th Street
  • Ottumwa - Tuesday, April 27 @ 6:30 pm.  Ottumwa High School Auditorium, 501 East Second Street

RPU-2010-0002: Black Hills Energy's Request for a Natural Gas Rate Increase

On June 8, 2010, Black Hills Energy (BHE) filed a proposal for a permanent annual revenue increase of approximately $4.7 million (2.9 percent), which if granted would raise monthly bills of residential customers an average of about 3.4 percent.  This request was docketed as RPU-2010-0002.

As permitted by Iowa law, a temporary rate increase of about 1.6 percent ($2.6 million annual revenue increase), not requiring pre-approval from the Board, went into effect on June 18, 2010. If the permanent rates granted are less than the temporary rates, customers will receive a refund plus interest for any over-collection.

Three customer comment meetings were held to allow verbal questions and comments to be directed to representatives of the utility, the IUB, and the Office of Consumer Advocate, which represents the general interests of customers in IUB proceedings.

Consumer comment meetings:

  • Newton - Tuesday, June 29 @ 6:30 pm.  DMACC Auditorium, 600 North 2nd Avenue
  • Dubuque - Wednesday, June 30 @ 6:30 pm.  City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, Federal Building, 350 West 6th Street
  • Council Bluffs - Thursday, July 1 @ 6:30 pm.  Public Library, 400 Willow Avenue

A decision meeting in this proposed rate increase proceeding was held on January 7, 2011 at 9 a.m. The order approving modified settlement was issued on February 10, 2011.

 

RPU-2012-0001: MidAmerican Energy Company's Proposed Electric Rate Increase

On October 8, 2012, the Iowa Utilities Board issued an order approving a settlement agreement in Docket No. RPU-2012-0001, establishing an additional charge as part of MidAmerican’s standard electricity rates for calendar years 2012 and 2013. The increase is due to the utility’s higher costs of environmental compliance and coal and coal transportation. The settlement allows MidAmerican to increase its annual electric revenue by $38.7 million (4 percent) in 2012, which was implemented in March, and an additional $37.3 million in 2013, for a total increase of 6.7 percent. 

Average residential customers are currently paying an estimated monthly electric bill increase of $2.33 for temporary rates in effect since March, and to remain intact for 2012. In 2013, average residential customers can expect to see an additional $1.30 monthly bill increase, or a $3.63 total monthly bill impact.

Background Information:

On February 21, 2012, MidAmerican filed its initial rate request to add two automatic adjustment clauses to its Iowa customers’ electric bills for increasing costs of environmental compliance and coal and coal transportation. On July 27, 2012, the Office of Consumer Advocate, MidAmerican, and the Iowa Industrial Group filed a settlement agreement for the Board’s consideration and a joint motion asking that it be approved.  The Iowa Industrial Group is a group of Iowa industrial employers that are major MidAmerican electric service customers. The Consumer Advocate represents the public interest in all Board proceedings.

In early 2012, six public comment meetings were held in this case:

  • February 23, 2012, Utilities Board Building, Hearing Room, 1375 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines
  • February 28, 2012, Modern Woodmen Park, Suites 10 & 11, 209 S. Gaines Street, Davenport
  • March 1, 2012, Petersen Town Hall, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street, Waterloo
  • March 6, 2012, Briar Cliff University, 3303 Rebecca Street, Stark Student Center, Clare Room, Sioux City
  • March 8, 2012, Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road SE, Montgomery Hall, Iowa City
  • March 13, 2012, Council Bluffs Public Library, Rooms A & B, 400 Willow Avenue, Council Bluffs

The Board cancelled the October 1, 2012, evidentiary hearing.

 

RPU-2012-0002: Alliant Energy/Interstate Power and Light Company's Natural Gas Service Rate Increase

On May 25, 2012, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), an Alliant Energy utility subsidiary, filed a request to increase its natural gas service rates in Iowa.  IPL’s proposed increase would generate about $14.8 million in additional annual revenue (5.6 percent increase).  The request was docketed as RPU-2012-0002.

Under Iowa law, a temporary revenue increase of $8.6 million (3.3 percent), which did not require pre-approval from the Iowa Utilities Board, went into effect on June 4, 2012. 

Four comment meetings were held to allow the public the opportunity to offer comments on this rate increase request:

  • July 10, 2012 - North Iowa Area Community College, Muse-Norris Conference Center, 500 College Drive, Mason City
  • July 12, 2012 - Mount Pleasant Civic Center (2nd Floor), 307 E. Monroe, Mount Pleasant
  • July 17, 2012 - Clinton Community College, Auditorium, 1000 Lincoln Boulevard, Clinton
  • July 19, 2012 - Fisher Community Center, 709 South Center Street, Marshalltown

On August 16, 2012, IPL, the Office of Consumer Advocate, and the Iowa Consumers Coalition filed a proposed settlement agreement for the Board to review and consider in this case.

On November 26, 2012, the Board issued an order approving the settlement agreement and canceling the December 3, 2012 evidentiary hearing. The approved settlement allows the utility’s permanent annual revenue from natural gas service rates to increase by $10.5 million (4.8 percent). It also establishes bill credits to customers resulting from IPL’s tax benefits for, among other things, its mixed service costs, repair expenditures, and 2008 flood proceeds, which will reduce customer rate impacts over the next three years. Tax credits will apply to all IPL customer classes, with varying rate impacts.

With the three-year tax credits, a typical IPL residential natural gas customer should pay about 39 cents (0.6 percent) less per month than before the utility’s rate increase request was filed. When the tax benefits expire in three years, residential customers’ bills will increase by approximately $3 per month.  Rate changes will only apply to the natural gas service portion of customer bills and not to the cost of the gas itself, which the utility passes to customers dollar for dollar.  

 

RPU-2013-0002: Iowa-American Water Company's Water Rate Increase Request

On April 30, 2013, Iowa-American Water Company filed a proposal to increase its water utility rates with the Iowa Utilities Board. Iowa-American requested a permanent rate change to increase its annual revenues by approximately $6.44 million (18 percent).  As allowed by Iowa law without Board approval, Iowa-American implemented an interim rate increase on May 10, 2013, to generate approximately $2.68 million in additional annual revenues (7.5 percent increase).

On February 4, 2014, the Board held its verbal decision meeting and Iowa-American will be allowed a permanent annual revenue increase of approximately $3.9 million (10.9 percent), which will not become the final and binding decision of the Board until its written decision order is issued. All documents filed in this rate case, Docket No. RPU-2013-0002, are available on the Board’s electronic filing system.

 

 

Notices of Inquiry (NOIs)

NOI-1995-0001: Emerging Competition in the Electric Industry

On February 24, 1995, the Iowa Utilities Board officially opened Docket No. NOI-95-1, "Inquiry Into Emerging Competition in the Electric Industry." As part of its inquiry, the Board:

  • formed an Advisory Group composed of interested stakeholder and public interest groups;
  • adopted ten principles for the electric utility industry;
  • conducted nine town meetings across the state to educate consumers on electric restructuring;
  • issued three comprehensive staff reports; and
  • adopted an action plan to develop a competitive model that works for Iowa.

In accomplishing the work outlined in its Action Plan, the Board:

  • worked with MidAmerican Energy to develop the Council Bluffs Pilot Project which is designed to allow residential and small commercial customers a choice of electricity provider for a two-year period;

The Council Bluffs Pilot Project began on April 1, 1999. Although several suppliers initially expressed an interest in the pilot, no supplier has been certified to provide service. The Board, in cooperation with MidAmerican Energy and Eos Corporation, developed a customer education plan for the Council Bluffs Pilot.

  • worked with the Iowa Energy Center, the University of Iowa Social Science Institute, and Mary Losch of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to conduct two residential and small commercial customer surveys to assess the public’s knowledge of electricity and electric restructuring;

The surveys were conducted at different times; one preceding the Council Bluffs Pilot education program and one after program completion. Both surveys indicated that small customers have little knowledge of their electric service or electric restructuring.

  • worked with the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research to conduct an environmental assessment of electric restructuring;

A draft of the assessment was released to the Board’s Advisory Group in late 1998. Due to comments received from the Advisory Group, the report was never finalized.

  • issued a draft staff report in October 1998 on transition cost/benefit recovery; 
  • issued a draft legislative proposal in December 1998 to the Board’s Advisory Group for comment (much of which was incorporated into the state’s restructuring legislation); and
  • conducted a collaborative modeling effort with the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate and Iowa’s investor-owned utilities to estimate the market price in a competitive retail market.

Board staff also worked extensively with various groups over a two year period drafting restructuring legislation for consideration by Iowa’s General Assembly in 2000.  The ultimate result of this collaborative effort was HF 2530.  HF 2530 passed-out of the House Commerce Committee in 2000, but was not debated on the floor of the House. Iowa's General Assembly did not consider restructuring legislation in its 2001 session.

The inquiry was opened, in part, to attempt to answer public policy and jurisdictional issues surrounding potential competition. Since there is no legislation pending to change Iowa's utility structure, the inquiry appears to have served its useful purpose. The Board issued an order closing the docket on April 17, 2001.

 

NOI-2006-0004: Inquiry into PURPA Interconnection Standard

This docket was closed by Board order on September 16, 2009.

Background information:

The Board initiated the inquiry by order issued July 3, 2006.

The Board issued a second order April 25, 2007, inviting additional comments on preliminary conclusions and preliminary model interconnection procedures for rate-regulated utilities. 

The Board issued a third order December 31, 2008, inviting additional comments on adapting the Illinois interconnection rules to Iowa. Comments from inquiry participants and others were due on or before January 21, 2009.

 

NOI-2008-0003: PURPA Standards in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

NOI-2009-0002: American Clean Energy and Security Act, a/k/a the Waxman-Markey Bill

The Board has opened an inquiry on federal climate legislation as recently passed in the U.S. House, H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill, commonly referred to as the Waxman-Markey bill, proposes to cap carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and create a trading system for allowances. Some allowances would initially be distributed to utilities and other entities and available allowances would decline over time. The bill also would create a combined efficiency and renewable portfolio standard for electric utilities to meet, as well as other provisions that could impact utilities and Iowa. The Board has opened this inquiry to receive broad public input on how the provisions of the Waxman-Markey bill could affect Iowa. On July 16, 2009, the Board issued an order with suggested questions to prompt discussion.   Entities or individuals who wish to comment must file comments electronically by registering or participating as a guest at the Board's Electronic Filing System (EFS) Web site. Pursuant to Board rule 7.1(4), the procedural rules in chapter 7, including the service requirements, do not apply to NOI dockets. In addition, participants in the NOI are not parties to a contested case, so the service requirements in rule 14.16 do not apply. Therefore, there is no requirement that participants in the NOI serve the other participants with copies of their comments, including participants who did not file their comments electronically. On July 30, 2009, the Board issued an order amending the inquiry schedule. Initial comments were due August 27, 2009. Replies to initial comments were due on or before September 9, 2009. A workshop was held on Friday, September 18, 2009.

At the September 18 workshop, more than a dozen groups or individuals made presentations, and participants responded to Board and staff questions. The court reporter delivered the workshop transcript to the Board on September 24. The transcript may be read by anyone in the Board's Records and Information Center or purchased in portions or in its entirety for $2.30/page from:

Petersen Court Reporters, Inc
317 6th Ave # 606
Des Moines, IA 50309-4115
(515) 243-6596

Also on September 24, the Board issued an order giving anyone who wishes the opportunity to file additional written comments with the Board. Written comments must be filed by October 19, 2009.

 

NOI-2011-0002: High Voltage Transmission Projects

On August 16, 2011, the Iowa Utilities Board opened an inquiry on high-voltage transmission projects. For more information about the Board's inquiry goals, please review or download the "Order Opening an Inquiry on High-Voltage Transmission Projects and Soliciting Comments."

Iowa ranks second in wind power capacity and because Iowa is a major producer of wind energy, several major high-voltage transmission line projects are proposed to be constructed in Iowa to deliver wind resources to major load centers. In the fall of 2011, high-voltage transmission line proponents provided information requested in the order, and other interested participants provided comments regarding the filed information. Additional reply comments were also received, and stakeholders provided comments on transmission policy related issues.

On August 28, 2012, the Board hosted a workshop for high voltage transmission line project developers and stakeholders to further address the information filed, provide project status updates, discuss issues and concerns, and to better coordinate with the Board and other interested parties. The NOI docket will remain open and the formal inquiry continues. The presentations are available in the Electronic Filing System (EFS) or through links below.

August 28, 2012 Workshop Presentations:
Iowa Utilities Board Staff (PDF)
ATC (PDF)
DATC (PDF)
Interstate Power and Light Company (PDF)
ITC Midwest (PDF)
MidAmerican Energy Company (PDF)
Rock Island Clean Line Energy Partners (PDF)

Zip/Compressed File of All 7 Presentations (ZIP - 5 MB)

 

NOI-2011-0003: Utility Coal Plant Planning

On September 2, 2011, the Board issued an order opening a notice of inquiry (NOI) on utility coal plant planning. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new regulations concerning discharges into water, coal fly ash, and air regulations regarding ozone, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, mercury, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases. These regulations likely will require the upgrading of some coal plants and the retirement of others, while converting some plants to natural gas.

This inquiry requests regulated utilities to prepare several scenarios describing how they could comply with the new regulations (such as upgrade all coal, convert some to natural gas, etc.), what the rate and other impacts are of each scenario, and "sensitivity" studies exploring the impact on these projections if the price of natural gas or the interest rate, demand, cost of construction, etc. is lower or higher than anticipated. For complete information about the NOI, please view or download the "Order Opening Inquiry on Utility Coal Plant Planning and Soliciting Comments."

On November 3, 2011, Alliant/Interstate Power and Light Company (Alliant/IPL) and MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) provided the requested information; North Iowa Municipal Electric Cooperative Association, Ames Municipal Electric System, and Muscatine Power and Water filed comments.

On November 8, 2011, the Board issued an order soliciting comments on reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) standards and from non-utilities owning coal-fired generation, which are both topics not addressed in the original order. Alliant/IPL and MEC were to file responses on or before December 15, 2011, regarding the RICE standards. Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives owning generation subject to these standards were invited to respond to the Board's questions. The participants in this NOI docket that are subject to the EPA regulations discussed in this order were to file responses to questions about their coal-fired plants no later than December 15, 2011.

 

 

Other Dockets

GCU-2007-0001: Interstate Power and Light Company's Proposed Generating Facility near Marshalltown

IUB Statement regarding Alliant/IPL Marshalltown Power Plant Decision

March 05, 2009
“The company has made a business decision based on its own interpretation of the current conditions facing the economy and the energy industry. The Board agrees that at this moment there are a lot of uncertainties with the economy and the potential for changes in regulation at all levels, which could have significant impact on such a project decision. 

In determining the ratemaking principles for IPL’s proposed Marshalltown generating facility, the Board used the same methodology used by previous Boards in other litigated ratemaking principles cases to determine a reasonable range for the allowed rate of return on equity. The Board based its decision on the provisions of the Code of Iowa, the evidence presented in the record for this docket, and the precedents set by previous ratemaking principles decisions. 

We recognize the 10.1% return allowed in this case is lower than the company’s request and lower than the rate approved in previous dockets. However, today’s investment climate is very different from the conditions that prevailed when those prior decisions were made, and the rate of return required to attract investment is also very different today.

The Board’s decision provided IPL with guaranteed cost recovery for building 350 megawatts of generating capacity at $2,816 per kilowatt. In making this decision, the Board accepted the company’s projections that it needed 350 megawatts of additional capacity to serve its customers and used what it felt were the most relevant cost estimates entered into evidence.”

Docket Order

On August 25, 2008, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) issued its written order in this case. Subject to certain conditions, the order grants Interstate Power and Light Company's (IPL) request for an electric generating certificate to construct and operate a 630-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Marshall County. This includes a requirement that IPL burn biomass fuels at the plant, as IPL says the plant is designed to do, and a requirement that IPL add new renewable energy sources (in addition to 200 megawatts of new wind resources already proposed) to its generation mix over the next 20 years. These requirements are intended to mitigate the company's future greenhouse gas emissions and the exposure of IPL and its customers to cost risks associated with those emissions. On April 30, 2008, the Board held public deliberations before voting 2-1 to grant this conditional approval for the plant.

Evidentiary Hearing

The evidentiary hearing in this docket was held Monday, January 14 through Friday, January 18, 2008 at the Whitehall Auditorium, Iowa Veteran's Home, Marshalltown. At the hearing, the parties of record presented their evidence and witnesses and cross-examined each other's witnesses.

The Iowa Code directs the Board to issue a certificate if it finds all of the following: (1) The facility is consistent with the policies of Iowa Code §476.53 (which is intended to encourage development of electric generating facilities) and economic development and will not be detrimental to providing reliable electric service; (2) the applicant is willing to abide by the terms of the certificate and the law; and (3) the facility is consistent with reasonable land use and environmental policies, considering the economics and other aspects of the available alternatives. On April 30, 2008, the Board held public deliberations before voting 2-1 to grant this conditional approval for the plant. The written order in this docket was issued on August 25, 2008.

Background Information

On July 2, 2007, Interstate Power and Light Company filed an application to build a coal-fired electric generating facility, with a maximum name plate capacity of 630 Megawatts, near Marshalltown, Iowa. A public informational meeting was held prior to the filing, as required by law, on May 21, 2007, in Marshalltown.

The Board sent copies of the filing to other state agencies that may be interested, such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Board issued an order docketing the matter for investigation and setting a procedural schedule including a hearing as described above. The DNR may appear at the Board hearing, but the more typical practice has been for the DNR to conduct its own review, separate from the Board proceedings, and then report the results to the Board. The DNR's analysis may not be complete when the Board issues its decision; any affirmative Board decision would be conditioned upon the applicant obtaining the necessary permits from DNR.