Alabama Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (8-AL-c)
A utility under the PSC jurisdiction may need a Certificate to construct any plant…or facility for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of electricity. Ala. Code. § 37-4-28. A "utility" is defined as "every person owning, operating, or controlling any plant, property, or facility for the generation, transmission or distribution, sale or furnishing to or for the public of electricity." Ala. Code. § 37-4-1. The PSC has jurisdiction over investor-owned utilities. The PSC does not have jurisdiction over "municipal electric utilities, or electric generation, transmission, or distribution facilities operating for the sole use of the producer." Ala. Code. § 37-1-34; Ala. Code. § 37-1-33.
The PSC regulates utilities pursuant to Alabama – Ala. Code §§ 37 et seq., Public Utilities and Public Transportation; Alabama – Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4 et seq., Alabama Public Service Commission Rules of Practice.
Certificate of Convenience and Necessity Process
8-AL-c.1 – Contact Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC)
The developer should contact the PSC to determine Application for Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (Application) requirements. Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4-.06.
8-AL-c.2 to 8-AL-c.3 – Application for Certificate of Convenience and Necessity
The developer must submit a complete Application to the PSC. Upon receipt of the Application, the PSC reviews Application materials for technical and administrative completeness.
8-AL-c.4 – Provide Notice of the Public Hearing
The PSC must provide notice of the public hearing considering the Application at least 10 days before the hearing date. Ala. Code. § 37-1-86.
8-AL-c.5 – Intervene in Proceeding (Optional)
Any person may petition to intervene in the hearing considering the Application and become a party to the proceeding before the PSC. Ala. Code. § 37-1-87. Any party to the proceeding considering the Application may be present testimony in person or by an attorney, depose witnesses, and request a complete record of the proceeding. Ala. Code. § 37-1-88; Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4-.15; Ala. Code. § 37-1-92; Ala. Code. § 37-1-102. Intervenors provide testimony after the party or parties in whose behalf the intervention was made. Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4-.15. If intervenors do not support either original party to the proceeding, then the PSC must determine when the intervenors present testimony. Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4-.15.
8-AL-c.6 – Hold Prehearing Conference (Optional)
Prior to initiating a hearing considering the Application, the PSC may hold a prehearing conference with the developer “to consider any matters that might aid” in carrying out the hearing. Ala. Admin. Code r.770-X-4-.15.
8-AL-c.7 to 8-AL-c.8 – Hold Public Hearing
The PSC must hold a public hearing considering the Application. Ala. Code. § 37-4-28. The public may comment during the public hearing.
8-AL-c.9 – Review Application for Approval
The PSC reviews the Application for approval and may grant or deny the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity at its discretion. Ala. Code. § 37-4-28.
8-AL-c.10 to 8-AL-c.13 – Does the PSC Make a Decision on the Application within 90 days?
Generally, the PSC must make a decision on the Application within 90 days after the completion of the public hearing. Ala. Code. § 37-1-94. If the PSC fails to make a decision on the Application within 90 days, the PSC must file a written statement of reasons why it could not make a decision and extend the period of time for review for a maximum of 90 additional days. Ala. Code. § 37-1-94.
8-AL-c.14 to 8-AL-c.15 – Does the PSC Approve the Application?
If the PSC approves the Application, the PSC may impose any conditions on the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity as it deems advisable. Ala. Code. § 37-4-28. The developer must begin construction of the facility within one year of Certificate issuance. Ala. Code. § 37-4-29.
8-AL-c.16 – Appeal Decision (Optional)
Any interested person may appeal the PSC’s decision on the Application to circuit court within 30 days of the PSC issuing its decision. Ala. Code. § 37-1-122.
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