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Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) has received Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approval of a long-term plan for electric transmission, distribution and storage system improvements, including incremental rate recovery of those costs as the projects proceed. The utility refers to the program as its Electric Infrastructure Modernization Plan.
NIPSCO's request was the first to be filed under a new law (Senate Enrolled Act 560) passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor's (OUCC's) testimony in these cases is summarized in its October 11, 2013 news release. Links to the testimony are available below.
On March 10, 2014, the OUCC filed a petition for reconsideration, which was denied on May 7. The OUCC has appealed the Commission's order to the Indiana Court of Appeals and filed its brief on August 11, 2014. NIPSCO has until September 23, 2014 to file its reply.
A brief summary of the new law
Indiana Code 8-1-39 allows electric and natural gas utilities to submit 7-year infrastructure improvement plans for IURC approval. It requires the IURC to rule within 210 days once such a request is filed.
NIPSCO filed its 7-year electric system improvement plan on July 19, 2013, in IURC Cause No. 44370. In a separately filed case, IURC Cause No. 44371, NIPSCO requested establishment of the methodology for calculating rate recovery of future costs with the first rate increase expected in 2015.
According to the utility's testimony and exhibits:
NIPSCO is requesting approval of a 7-year natural gas infrastructure plan in a separate case filed on October 3, 2013.
NIPSCO's July 19, 2013 filings include:
All filings in both cases are available by visiting the IURC's Electronic Document System and entering the appropriate docket number.
OUCC review & testimony
The OUCC issued a September 6, 2013 news release to invite consumer comments and filed the following testimony on October 11, 2013: