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Wyoming Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (8-WY-c)

Information current as of 2020
In Wyoming, any person (developer) may need to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Wyoming Public Service Commission prior to commencing project construction. Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(a).

Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Process

8-WY-c.1 to 8-WY-c.2 – Is the Developer a Public Utility?

Any developer who qualifies as a public utility must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) prior to constructing a project. Wyo. Stat. § 37-1-101(a)(vi). A "public utility" means every person that owns, operates, leases, controls, or has the power to operate, lease, or control any plant, property or facility for the generation, transmission, distribution, of electricity, including conduits, devices, or apparatus used for transmission. Wyo. Stat. § 37-1-101(a)(vi).

8-WY-c.3 to 8-WY-c.5 – Application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)

The developer must submit an application for a CPCN to the PSC. The following information must be included in the application:

  • The name and address of the applicant;
  • The type of plant, property or facility proposed to be constructed;
  • A complete description of the facilities proposed to be constructed, including preliminary engineering specifications in sufficient detail to properly describe the principal systems and components and final and complete engineering specifications when they become available;
  • A list of the rates, if any, proposed to be charged for the service that will be rendered because of the proposed construction;
  • The estimated total cost of the proposed construction; and
  • The manner by which the proposed construction will be financed.

See 23-3 Wyo. Code R. § 21(c).

In addition, “major utility facilities,” which are defined by section 202 of the PSC’s General Regulations to mean “(ii) [a]n electric transmission line or an electric distribution line of more than three (3) miles, designed for operation at sixty-nine (69) KV or above,” must include the following additional information in the CPCN application:

(a) The proposed site by an appropriate description of the involved properties and the county or counties in which the major utility facility will be located and where possible a metes and bounds description; a description of the route of line or lines in the project and the number of route miles located in each county; a description of the various types of country in or through which the facility will be constructed;

(b) A brief report on the surrounding scenic, historical, archeological and recreational locations, natural resources, plant and animal life, land reclamation, possible safety hazards, and plans for protecting the environment;

(c) Land, mineral and water requirements for the major utility facility, the status of the acquisition of land, or rights-of-way (ROWs) or of minerals and water for the project, the sources or locations thereof, and the proposed method of transportation and utilization;

(d) A statement setting forth the need for the project in meeting present and future demands for service, in Wyoming or other states, and the proposed sale of the utility commodity or service which the construction of this facility will make available;

(e) A statement of the effect of the project on [developer’s] and other systems' stability and reliability, if applicable;

(f) The estimated cost of and plans for financing the project, and a statement of the estimated effect of the project on [developer's] revenues and expenses;

(g) A list of local, state, Indian, or federal governmental agencies having requirements which must be met in connection with the construction or operation of the project, and the status before those agencies; and developer shall file such agency's final order when entered.

See 23-3 Wyo. Code R. § 21(c)(ii).

A standard CPCN application form can be found in Chapter 9 of the PSC’s General Regulations. The application should be addressed to the PSC and should include the PSC docket number, if known. The appropriate fee must be included with the application. Once the PSC receives the application, it reviews it for completeness. If the application is deficient or incomplete, the PSC may decline to accept it and notify the developer of the deficiency. See section 104(a) of the PSC’s Regulations.

8-WY-c.6 to 8-WY-c.7 – Is the Proposed Project 230kV or above?

If the proposed transmission line is over 230kV the PSC must publish a notice of the CPCN application in a newspaper of general circulation in each county where the transmission line will be constructed. The PSC must also give actual notice of the hearing on the application by registered mail, at the developer’s expense, to each landowner who may be affected. The notice of the hearing must be given at least 30 days prior to the hearing and should contain pertinent facts about the application. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(e).

8-WY-c.8 – Submit Articles of Incorporation (If Necessary)

If the developer is a corporation, a certified copy of the articles of incorporation must be filed with the PSC. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(c).

8-WY-c.9 – Hold Hearing

The PSC must hold a hearing to address the CPCN application. The hearing addresses the financial capability and good faith of the developer and the necessity of the transmission line. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(c). Rules and regulations governing hearing procedures can be found in See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-201 et seq. and Chapter 1 of the PSC’s General Regulations.

8-WY-c.10 to 8-WY-c.13 – Have All ROWs for the Transmission Line Been Acquired?; Does the PSC Authorize Construction of Segments?

All ROWs for the line must be acquired before construction begins if the proposed transmission line is 230kV or above. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(f). However, Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(h) allows the PSC to authorize the construction of segments of the line, even though ROWs have not been acquired for the entire length of the line, provided that:

  • The [developer] has satisfied all requirements for the issuance of a certificate except subsection Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(f) of this section;
  • The [developer] has obtained all required right-of-way within the authorized segment;
  • Authorization to construct the transmission line within the authorized segment does not exceed ten (10) miles from the advancing end of an authorized segment, provided that the [PSC] may waive the ten (10) mile limitation if the transmission line segment is:
    • Located entirely between substations or switching stations;
    • Located between a substation or switching station and the state line; or
    • Located entirely within state or federal land.
  • Notice has been provided to all private property owners along the entire length of the proposed transmission line;
  • The [PSC] provides an opportunity for private property owners who are adversely affected by the location of the segment an opportunity to be heard before the authorization of a segment concerning the location of the segment or the impact of any future extension of the transmission line.

See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(h).

For more information about obtaining ROWs, see Land Access Process Overview : 3

8-WY-c.14 to 8-WY-c.17 - Does the PSC Approve the CPCN?; Petition for Rehearing; Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

After the hearing is concluded, the PSC may issue, deny, or issue a partial CPCN. The CPCN may contain such terms and conditions as the PSC deems necessary. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-205(c). If the CPCN is denied, the developer may petition the CPCN for a rehearing within 30 days. The petition for a rehearing should contain:

  • The name and address of the petitioner; and
  • A statement in ordinary, but concise, language setting forth the facts upon which the petition is based, including whenever possible reference to the statutes, rules or orders that are relied upon.

See section 116 of the PSC’s General Regulations.

The PSC may grant a rehearing at its discretion. See Wyo. Stat. § 37-2-214.

8-WY-c.18 – Submit Required Construction Notices to the PSC

After a CPCN has been issued, the developer must file the construction reports listed in section 229 of the PSC’s General Regulations. These reports include:

  • A notice advising the PSC of the construction commencement date;
  • A notice advising the PSC that construction has been completed;
  • Monthly construction progress reports; and
  • A statement, filed no later than 180 days after the completion of construction, which contains important details about the project.

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