Louisiana Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (8-LA-c)
The LPSC Certificate Application review and approval process is in addition to any other approvals required under local, state, and/or federal law. LPSC General Order, No. R-26018, p. 11.
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Process
8-LA-c.1— Provide Advance Notice of the Project
Any entity planning to construct a transmission facility, regardless of whether a Certificate is required, must provide notice of the proposed project to the LPSC annually by February 1 of each year. LPSC General Order R-26018, p. 14.
Sufficient advance notice must include the following:
- The location of the project;
- A short description of the project;
- The estimated date of construction, initiated contact with landowners to acquire rights-of-way or easements, and project completion;
- A short description of the need for the project;
- All analysis demonstrating the need for the project;
- The projected in-service date of the project;
- Whether new rights-of-way or current rights-of-way will need to be acquired to complete construction; and
- The estimated cost of the project. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 15.
8-LA-c.2 to 8-LA-c.6— Is the Proposed Project Subject to Regulation by the LPSC?
Any person or entity subject to the jurisdiction or regulatory authority of the LPSC must obtain a Certificate before commencing construction. The LPSC has jurisdiction and authority over any transmission facility, if the costs of the transmission facility, and the costs of any associated retail rate impacts, will be reflected or recovered in the retail or wholesale rates to be assessed to customers of Louisiana electric public utilities or cooperatives. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 9.
Transmission facilities of municipalities or political subdivisions of the State of Louisiana that are not subject to jurisdiction of the LPSC and may not require a Certificate. Generally, private entities are not subject to LPSC regulation. LPSC General Order, No. R-26018, p. 9. If the project is constructed by an “independent transmission company” or other entity planning to construct a transmission facility, then the developer must comply with LPSC regulations and consent to LPSC jurisdiction to file a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Application (“Certificate Application”). LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 10.
8-LA-c.7— Is the Project Exempt?
A Certificate is not required for the following:
- A new switching station, or substation;
- The repair or reconstruction of an existing transmission facility due to weather or other emergency;
- The construction or upgrading of facilities with a capacity less than 100 kV;
- Routine maintenance of existing transmission facilities;
- Facilities constructed entirely for reliability purposes;
- New transmission point-of-delivery facilities constructed for the purpose of expanding or setting industrial loads’
- Replacement or expansion of existing equipment or facilities with similar equipment or facilities in substantially the same location or rebuilding, upgrading, or modernizing for capacity increases;
- If the costs of the transmission facilities will not be recovered by Louisiana customers;
- Transmission facility projects scheduled to be placed into service within three years of the issuance of the Order that have commenced land acquisitions, or begun construction by the date of the issuance of the Order;
- Any transmission facility project that has commenced right-of-way acquisition activities at the date of the issuance of the Order; and
- Expansion or modification of a transmission facility previously certified or approved by the LPSC. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 12-13.
Additionally, upon the request of the applicant (developer), the LPSC, at its discretion, may exempt a project from formal Certificate requirements. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 12.
8-LA-c.8 — Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Application
A developer must submit a complete Certificate Application to LPSC. A complete Certificate Application must include:
- The name, business address, and electronic address of the applicant (developer) and all project participants;
- A general description of the proposed facility;
- Supporting testimony and exhibits explaining and demonstrating the need for the proposed facility including a cost-benefit analysis;
- A generalized substation-to-substation corridor description of the proposed location and siting of the transmission facility;
- A description of anticipated funding sources;
- An itemized cost estimate including land acquisition and construction costs;
- An analysis on the estimated effects on costs to ratepayers;
- A drawing of the proposed facility;
- An estimated timeline with milestones for completion;
- A description of whether rights-of-way will need to be acquired to complete construction of the project or whether existing rights-of-way will be utilized;
- Any other information the applicant (developer) finds necessary for the LPSC to make a public service determination. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 11-12.
8-LA-c.9 — Provide Notice of the Application
After the applicant (developer) files a Certificate Application, the LPSC must publish notice of the Certificate Application in the LPSC’s “Official Bulletin” or publish notice by any other method prescribed by law. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 12.
8-LA-c.10 to 8-LA-c.13 — Review Application Materials for Completeness
The LPSC must review the Application materials for administrative and technical completeness. If the LPSC determines that the Certificate Application is insufficient, then the LPSC may request the applicant (developer) supplement the Certificate Application with additional information. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 12. If the LPSC determines that additional information is required, then the applicant (developer) must respond to the request for additional information within 10 (ten) business days after the request was made. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 12.
8-LA-c.14 to 8-LA-c.15 — Review Application for Approval
If the Application is complete then the LPSC reviews the Application for approval. In determining whether to grant or deny a Certificate, the LPSC may consider:
- The expected impact of the transmission facility on costs, retail rates, service reliability, reduction of congestion, the interstate or intrastate benefits expected to be achieved, and whether the proposed Transmission Facility is consistent with public policy;
- Whether the generalized siting of the proposed facility is appropriate and whether construction is a reasonable and cost-effective solution; and
- Federal Criteria outlined in FERC Orders. Louisiana Public Service Commission General Order (2013) No. R-26018, p. 10-11.
LPSC staff review the Certificate Application and must file a statement identifying whether LPSC staff have objections to the Certificate Application within 45 days of the LPSC providing notice of the Certificate Application. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 14.
8-LA-c.16 to 8-LA-c.19 — Does the LPSC Staff Object to the Application?
If the LPSC staff raise objections to the Certificate Application, the LPSC will assign the matter to the LPSC ALJ Division for an expedited hearing process, allowing for the LPSC to consider the Certificate Application without a final ALJ recommendation. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 14. If the LPSC staff do not object to the Certificate Application, then the LPSC staff must provide a written recommendation to the LPSC for consideration at the next LPSC “Commission Business & Executive Session.” LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 14.
8-LA-c.20 — Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity
The LPSC must decide on the Certificate Application within 90 days of receiving the Certificate Application when the Certificate Application is uncontested or if the applicant (developer) requested and was granted expedited consideration. Louisiana Public Service Commission General Order (2013) No. R-26018, at 14. If a Certificate Application is contested, but deemed necessary, the LPSC must use its best efforts to make a determination on the Certificate Application with 120 days. Louisiana Public Service Commission General Order (2013) No. R-26018, p. 14. Generally, if a Certificate Application is contested, the LPSC must make a determination on the Certificate Application within 180 days. LPSC General Order No. R-26018, p. 14.
8-LA-c.21 to 8-LA-c.23 — Does the Proposed Project Cost More Than 2% of the Rate-Making Value of the Property
In Louisiana, a project developer may not begin construction of a new plant or facility or make an extension or addition to an existing plant or facility if the cost exceeds 2% of the rate-making value of the property at the time the extension or addition unless the appropriate local authority determines that the project meets public convenience and necessity requirements. La. Stat. Ann. §33:4406. Prior to initiating construction, the developer should contact the local authority with jurisdiction over the project. The appropriate local entity has the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether a project meets local public convenience and necessity requirements. La. Stat. Ann. §33:4406.
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