Mississippi Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (8-MS-c)
The MPSC regulates the construction of electric generating and transmitting facilities primarily pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-14 et seq.; Mississippi – Public Utilities Rules of Practice and Procedure of Mississippi Public Service Commission and Public Utilities Staff ; Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-47 et seq., Hearings by Commission; Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-13 et seq., Issuance of certificates; and Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-16 et seq., Bids required on certain public utility contracts.
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Process
8-MS-c.1 — Contact Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC)
The project developer should consult with the MPSC to determine requirements for filing a CPCN Petition.
8-MS-c.2 — Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) Petition
A developer must submit a complete CPCN Petition (Petition) to MPSC. In addition to completing a Petition, project developers are also required to submit, at minimum, the following:
- If a corporation:
- A copy of the corporate charter or its articles of incorporation as filed with the Secretary of State;
- The names and address of its board of directors, officers and any person owning fifteen percent (15%) or more of its stock.
- If not a corporation, the names and addresses of all owners or partners;
- If a foreign corporation, a copy of its authority to do business in Mississippi;
- A copy of any required municipal franchise;
- An outline map of any area for which a CPCN is requested;
- Legal description of the proposed service area as well as a map showing the boundaries of the proposed service area;
- General description of new facilities;
- Itemized estimate of costs of all new investment;
- List of funding sources;
- An estimate of impact of cost of facilities on rate base.;
- Number of assured and prospective customers in the new area and existing certificated area;
- Complete set of engineering plans and specifications;
- A copy of required environmental approvals;
- List of names and addresses of all interested persons;
- Copies of all testimony to be relied on at CPCN hearing; and
- A copy of current balance sheet and income statement.
8-MS-c.3 to 8-MS-c.4 — Does the Cost of the Project Exceed $200,000?
A developer may have additional requirements per Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-16(1) if the project requires “construction, extension and/or repair of facilities in excess of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00) by or on the behalf of any public utility subject to rate regulations by the [MPSC].” If a proposed project exceeds this two hundred thousand-dollar ($200,000.00) threshold, and the utility is seeking contractors outside “its own regularly employed work force” the utility is required to undergo a public bidding process for the construction contract, whereby “any qualified prospective bidder” requesting consideration is considered for the contract. The public bidding process requires utilities to publish “notice requesting names of qualified contractors” at least every six (6) months. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-16(1).
8-MS-c.5 to 8-MS-c.6 — Review Petition Materials for Completeness
The MPSC must review CPCN Petitions for administrative and technical completeness. If a Petition is incomplete, the MPSC may dismiss the Petition without further consideration. Public Utilities Rules of Practice and Procedure, p. 45.
8-MS-c.7 to 8-MS-c.8 — Publish Notice of Public Hearing
The MPSC is required to conduct a hearing in determining whether to grant a CPCN. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-13. The MPSC must publish notice of the hearing “not less than 20 days before” the hearing date. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-47. The MPSC must mail notice to all interested persons and each affected public utility and publish notice in a local newspaper. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-47. Parties must file comments on the CPCN petition 20 to 30 days from the date of public notice. Mississippi – Public Utilities Rules of Practice and Procedure of Mississippi Public Service Commission and Public Utilities Staff.
8-MS-c.9 to 8-MS-c.11 — Review Petition for Approval
After public hearing, the MPSC must review the Petition materials for approval. In determining whether to grant a developer a CPCN, the MPSC considers whether the project is necessary, whether the applicant is financially able, and any other matters MPSC deems relevant. It is within MPSC’s discretion to grant or deny a CPCN for a proposed project. The MPSC may also partially approve a CPCN for a proposed project without granting a CPCN for the project in its entirety. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-13(3). The MPSC must also approve a developer’s “estimate of construction costs” prior to granting the developer a CPCN. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-13(4).
8-MS-c.12 — Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity
The developer must comply with the terms and conditions of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
In granting a CPCN, MPSC may place duration restrictions so that when operations do not begin within 180 days of the MPSC’s grant of the CPCN, the CPCN is rendered void. Public Utilities Rules of Practice and Procedure, p. 42.
8-MS-c.13 to 8-MS-c.16 — Petition for Rehearing (If Applicable)
If the MPSC enters an order or decision regarding a CPCN Petition, any party to the proceedings may file an Application for Rehearing with the MPSC within 30 days of the Petition decision. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-65. The MPSC must “either grant or refuse an Application for Rehearing within 20 days after the date of [the rehearing] application.” Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-65. Note that if the MPSC fails to act on the Application for Rehearing, the MPSC effectively refuses the Application. If the MPSC grants the rehearing, the MPSC must “conduct and conclude a rehearing within 30 days of the entry of the order for rehearing.” At the conclusion of the hearing, the MPSC must enter a new order, generally coming into effect ten (10) days after entry. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-65.
8-MS-c.17 — Appeal Decision (If Applicable)
Any aggrieved party seeking to appeal a final order issued by the MPSC, may appeal to the appropriate chancery court. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-67(1). If a developer has petitioned for a rehearing, the developer must file an appeal within 30 days after MPSC renders its rehearing refusal or decision. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-67(1). Once a developer files an appeal, the chancery court must give the MPSC notice, and within 60 days the MPSC must provide the court with an administrative record for review. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-67(2). The court may modify, vacate or remand the order back to the MPSC. Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-67(4).
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- Mississippi – Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-14 et seq., Certificates of public convenience and necessity required for construction of electrical generating and transmitting facilities
- Mississippi – Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-3 et seq., Definitions
- Miss. Code Ann. § 77-3-47
- Mississippi – Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-13 et seq., Issuance of certificates
- Mississippi – Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-16 et seq., Bids required on certain public utility contracts
- Mississippi – Miss. Code Ann. §§ 77-3-67 et seq., Appeals to chancery court