Consumer Information Energy Telecommunications
Elizabeth S. Jacobs
Chair
Nick Wagner
Board Member
Sheila K. Tipton
Board Member

Notice of Inquiry (NOI)

NOI-2008-0003 PURPA STANDARDS IN THE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SECURITY ACT OF 2007 On December 19, 2007 the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) was signed into law. Among its many provisions were four new federal electric ratemaking standards added to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The first two PURPA standards in EISA were integrated resources planning and rate design modifications to promote energy efficiency investments. The other two standards were consideration of smart grid investments and smart grid information. Pursuant to EISA, the Board was required to commence a proceeding on or before December 19, 2008, to consider adopting the four new PURPA standards. The Board could decline or adopt or implement any or all of the standards for electric utilities over which it has ratemaking authority but had to state in writing the reasons for its decision on or before December 19, 2009. On December 5, 2008, the Board issued an order initiating a notice of inquiry to investigate these standards. In its order, the Board stated that some of the standards, at least in part, appeared to already have been adopted while other standards may conflict, at least in part, with Iowa law. On June 29, 2009, the Board issued an order soliciting comments on smart grid, scheduling a workshop for August 24, 2009, and requiring filing using its electronic filing system. On December 17, 2009, the Board issued an order declining to adopt the four PURPA standards and continuing the inquiry. On March 9, 2010, the Board issued an order scheduling an additional workshop for April 16, 2010, and expanding the inquiry. On March 29, 2010, the Board issued an order temporarily prohibiting aggregators of retail customers from operating in Iowa and allowing comments. The workshop on smart grid and aggregation of retail customer issues was held as scheduled on April 16, 2010. On April 21, 2010, the Board issued an order providing participants in the workshop the opportunity to file their presentations and any additional comments. On October 14, 2011, the Board issued an "Order Soliciting Comments" which contained specific questions related to both smart grid and aggregators of retail customers; the questions were designed to examine any new developments since the 2010 workshop. MidAmerican Energy Company and Interstate Power and Light Company were required to respond to the questions contained in the order and other participants were invited to respond to some or all of the questions in the order. On June 25, 2012, the Board issued an order continuing the prohibition of aggregators of retail customers in Iowa and issuing a smart grid report. The docket remains open for the ongoing monitoring of smart grid and other developments.

NOI-2011-0002 HIGH-VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION PROJECTS On August 16, 2011, the Board issued an order initiating this notice of inquiry to gather information regarding proposed high-voltage electric transmission projects to be constructed in Iowa. These proposed projects would address the potential transmission constraints within Iowa and surrounding states. This inquiry will investigate the projects’ status, interactions and timeframes, and potential impacts on Iowa electricity rates. On August 28, 2012, a workshop was held and a wide-ranging discussion provided a snapshot-in-time regarding the status of transmission project developments in Iowa. On September 5, 2012, the Board issued an order soliciting additional comments. The docket is pending.

NOI-2011-0003 UTILITY COAL PLANT PLANNING On September 2, 2011, the Board issued an order initiating this notice of inquiry to gather information about utility coal plant planning. This inquiry requests regulated utilities to prepare several scenarios describing how they would be in compliance with proposed new regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These proposed new EPA regulations would impact discharges into water, coal fly ash, and air regulations regarding ozone, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, mercury, and carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases. On November 8, 2011, the Board issued an order soliciting comments from non-utilities owning coal fired generation and from utilities on EPA standards for diesel powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines that could significantly impact utilities. Comments were filed in 2011 and 2012. The docket remains open.

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