Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC Form 580); Comment Request; Extension, 68438-68442 [2019-27015]

Download as PDF 68438 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2019 / Notices understand the eligibility requirements for the program for which they are applying. II. Other Information Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audio tape, or compact disc) on request to one of the contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: December 11, 2019. Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2019–27048 Filed 12–13–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP20–19–000] lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES UGI Sunbury, LLC; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization Take notice that on December 3, 2019, UGI Sunbury, LLC (UGI Sunbury), 835 Knitting Mills Way, Wyomissing, PA 19610, filed in the above referenced docket a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205, 157.208, and 157.216 of the Commission’s regulations under the Natural Gas Act and its blanket certificate issued in Docket No. CP15– 525–000 for authorization to remove, construct, own, operate, and maintain a one mile segment of the Sunbury Pipeline Project in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Specifically, UGI Sunbury states that it will remove and relocate a portion of the Sunbury Pipeline Project to accommodate a VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Dec 13, 2019 Jkt 250001 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration project known as the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project. UGI Sunbury estimates the cost of the project to be $12,500,000, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208–3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502–8659. Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Brett Burch Project Manager, UGI Energy Services, LLC, 835 Knitting Mills Way, Wyomissing, PA 19610, by telephone at (570) 665–8603, or by email at bburch@ ugies.com. Any person or the Commission’s staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission’s Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA. Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission’s rules (18 CFR 157.9), within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission’s public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff’s issuance of the EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission’s public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the date of issuance of the Commission staff’s EA. Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission’s environmental mailing list, and will be notified of any meetings associated with the Commission’s environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters, will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission’s final order. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests, and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http:// www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 3 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. Dated: December 10, 2019. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–27016 Filed 12–13–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC19–45–000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC Form 580); Comment Request; Extension Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE. ACTION: Notice of information collection and request for comments. AGENCY: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection, FERC Form 580 (Interrogatory on Fuel and Energy Purchase Practices) and submitting the information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2019 / Notices Comments on the collection of information are due January 15, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902–0137, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov; Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC19–45–000, by either of the following methods: • eFiling at Commission’s Website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http:// www.ferc.gov/help/submissionguide.asp. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support by email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208–3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502–8659 for TTY. Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docsfiling/docs-filing.asp. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Brown may be reached by email at DataClearance@FERC.gov, telephone at (202) 502–8663, and fax at (202) 273– 0873. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: FERC Form 580, (Interrogatory on Fuel and Energy Purchase Practices Pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal Power Act). OMB Control No.: 1902–0137. Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC Form 580 with no changes to the current reporting requirements. The administrative changes to the time period covered in FERC Form 580 are listed in the abstract. Abstract: On October 1, 2019 (84 FR 52080), the Commission published a lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES DATES: Notice in the Federal Register in Docket No. IC19–45–000 requesting public comments. The Commission received one public comments and is indicating that in the related submittal to OMB. The Commission collects FERC Form 580 information every other year as required under Section 205(f)(2) of the FPA as amended by Section 208 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The Commission uses the information collected on the FERC Form 580 interrogatory to review utility purchase and cost recovery practices through automatic adjustment clauses (AACs) in order to ensure efficient use of resources.1 The Commission uses the information to evaluate costs in individual rate filings and to supplement periodic utility audits. The public also uses the information in this manner. Without the FERC Form 580 interrogatory, the Commission would not have the requisite information to conduct the necessary review the FPA mandates. Summary of Public Comments On December 2, 2019, American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEPSC) filed comments. AEPSC states that the Commission should further clarify in the Desk Reference the scope of necessary respondents including: (1) That only jurisdictional utilities with cost-based tariffs on file that contain AACs should be required to submit Form 580; and (2) that contracts entered into pursuant to a utilities’ market-based rate authority (regardless of whether such contract happens to be cost-based and contain an AAC) are outside the scope of the necessary reporting. However, AEPSC explains that Form 580 itself indicates that such scope limitations are intended. AEPSC also states that while it has not estimated the time it spends on each form, the time spent collecting the information and completing the form appear to be understated. AEPSC provides suggestions for minimizing the burden on respondents, which AEPSC explains would be addressed through 68439 implementing new software. Additionally, AEPSC asserts that the Commission should consider providing greater consistency in terms and directions across different forms. FERC Response to Public Comments First, the Commission finds that while AEPSC states that the Desk Reference is not clear enough, AEPSC acknowledges that FERC Form 580 provides the necessary level of clarity. The Desk Reference is provided to answer common questions and assist filers in completing the FERC Form 580. Therefore, the Commission finds that revisions to the Desk Reference are not necessary for respondents to understand what is required to report as long as the directions on the FERC Form 580 are clear. Second, the Commission finds that while AEPSC states that the burden estimates appear understated, AEPSC has not provided sufficient evidence to support its claim. Without additional factual information, the Commission does not have a basis to revise the burden estimate. Third, we find that implementing major software updates is beyond the scope and timing of this docket. We will take the comment under consideration for future activities on the FERC Form 580. Lastly, while AEPSC asserts that the Commission should consider consistency in terms and directions across different forms, we find that this is not necessary for respondents to be able to understand how to complete FERC Form 580. Moreover, changes to forms other than FERC Form 580 are beyond the scope of this information collection and might require rulemaking(s). FERC is making the following administrative changes 2 (e.g., to update the period covered) to the form: Question 2a —Revise Question 2a columns as follows: From To Docket number under which rate schedule containing AAC through which costs were passed during 2016 and/or 2017 was accepted for filing by FERC. Was rate schedule superseded or abandoned during 2016–2017? If so, provide Dates. Docket number under which rate schedule containing AAC through which costs were passed during 2018 and/or 2019 was accepted for filing by FERC. Was rate schedule superseded or abandoned during 2018–2019? If so, provide dates. 1 By using the data in FERC Form 580, the Commission is able to review utility purchase and cost recovery practices and ensure the resources are VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Dec 13, 2019 Jkt 250001 in compliance with Commission regulations in 18 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 35.14. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2 These changes were inadvertently omitted in the 60-day notice published on October 1, 2019 (84 FR 52080). E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 68440 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2019 / Notices Question 2b —Revise the paragraph under Question 2b to read: From To If any of the Utility’s wholesale rate and/or service agreements containing an AAC listed in Question 2a, that was used during 2016 and/or 2017, was filed with the Commission before January 1, 1990, attach an electronic copy of it with this filing. List the documents you are submitting below. Note: Once this information is submitted electronically in a text-searchable format it will not be necessary to submit it in future Form 580 filings. See: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ elibrary/accept-file-formats.asp for listing of Commission accepted document types. If any of the Utility’s wholesale rate and/or service agreements containing an AAC listed in Question 2a, that was used during 2018 and/or 2019, was filed with the Commission before January 1, 1990, attach an electronic copy of it with this filing. List the documents you are submitting below. Note: Once this information is submitted electronically in a text-searchable format it will not be necessary to submit it in future Form 580 filings. See: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ elibrary/accept-file-formats.asp for listing of Commission accepted document types. Question 3 —Revise the paragraph under Question 3 to read: From To If during the 2016–2017 period, the Utility had any contracts or agreements for the purchase of either energy or capacity under which all or any portion of the purchase costs were passed through a fuel adjustment clause (FAC), for each purchase from a PURPA Qualifying Facility (QF) or Independent Power Producer (IPP) provide the information requested in the non-shaded columns of the table below. Provide the information separately for each reporting year 2016 and 2017. Do not report purchased power where none of the costs were recovered through an FAC. For each purchase where costs were flowed through an FAC, fill-in the non-shaded columns and either ‘‘Only energy charges’’ or ‘‘The total cost of the purchase of economic power’’ columns, whichever apply. If during the 2018–2019 period, the Utility had any contracts or agreements for the purchase of either energy or capacity under which all or any portion of the purchase costs were passed through a fuel adjustment clause (FAC), for each purchase from a PURPA Qualifying Facility (QF) or Independent Power Producer (IPP) provide the information requested in the non-shaded columns of the table below. Provide the information separately for each reporting year 2018 and 2019. Do not report purchased power where none of the costs were recovered through an FAC. For each purchase where costs were flowed through an FAC, fill-in the non-shaded columns and either ‘‘Only energy charges’’ or ‘‘The total cost of the purchase of economic power’’ columns, whichever apply. Question 4a —Revise Question 4a columns as follows: From To If emission allowance costs were incurred by the Utility in 2016 and/or 2017 and were recovered through a FAC, provide the following information. Dollar value of emission allowance cost passed through a FAC: 2016 ⎢2017. If emission allowance costs were incurred by the Utility in 2018 and/or 2019 and were recovered through a FAC, provide the following information. Dollar value of emission allowance cost passed through a FAC: 2018 ⎢2019. Question 5 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES —Revise the paragraph under Question 5 as follows: From To Provide the information requested below regarding the Utility’s fuel procurement policies and practices in place during 2016 and/or 2017 for fuels whose costs were subject to 18 CFR 35.14. Note: Responses to this question may be filed as Privileged. To do so, skip this question now and answer it via the Fuel Procurement Policies and Practices Privileged Addendum provided. Otherwise, answer it here and your responses will be made public. Provide the information requested below regarding the Utility’s fuel procurement policies and practices in place during 2018 and/or 2019 for fuels whose costs were subject to 18 CFR 35.14. Note: Responses to this question may be filed as Privileged. To do so, skip this question now and answer it via the Fuel Procurement Policies and Practices Privileged Addendum provided. Otherwise, answer it here and your responses will be made public. Question 6 —Revise the paragraph under Question 6 as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:20 Dec 13, 2019 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2019 / Notices 68441 From To For each fuel supply contract, of longer than one year in duration, in force at any time during 2016 and/or 2017, where costs were subject to 18 CFR 35.14, (including informal agreements with associated companies), provide the requested information. Report the information individually for each contract, for each calendar year. [No response to any part of Question 6 for fuel oil no. 2 is necessary.] Report all fuels consumed for electric power generation and thermal energy associated with the production of electricity. Information for only coal, natural gas, and oil should be reported. For each fuel supply contract, of longer than one year in duration, in force at any time during 2018 and/or 2019, where costs were subject to 18 CFR 35.14, (including informal agreements with associated companies), provide the requested information. Report the information individually for each contract, for each calendar year. [No response to any part of Question 6 for fuel oil no. 2 is necessary.] Report all fuels consumed for electric power generation and thermal energy associated with the production of electricity. Information for only coal, natural gas, and oil should be reported. Question 7 —Revise the paragraph under Question 7 as follows: From To For each fuel supply contract, including informal agreements with associated or affiliated companies in force at any time during 2016 or 2017 WHERE CONTRACT SHORTFALL COSTS WERE PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for each contract separately the information requested below. Only report the information requested for shortfalls that occurred under your contracts during reporting years 2016 or 2017 and that are not under dispute, i.e., parties agree there was indeed a shortfall. For each fuel supply contract, including informal agreements with associated or affiliated companies in force at any time during 2018 or 2019 WHERE CONTRACT SHORTFALL COSTS WERE PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for each contract separately the information requested below. Only report the information requested for shortfalls that occurred under your contracts during reporting years 2018 or 2019 and that are not under dispute, i.e., parties agree there was indeed a shortfall. Question 8 —Revise the paragraph under Question 8 as follows: From To For each fuel supply contract that was bought-out or bought-down, including informal agreements with associated or affiliated companies in force at any time during 2016 or 2017 WHERE CONTRACT BUY– OUT AND/OR BUY–DOWN COSTS WERE PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for each contract separately the information requested below. Only report the information requested for contract buy-downs and buy-outs that occurred under your contracts during reporting years 2016 or 2017 and that are not under dispute, i.e., parties agree there was indeed a shortfall. For each fuel supply contract that was bought-out or bought-down, including informal agreements with associated or affiliated companies in force at any time during 2018 or 2019 WHERE CONTRACT BUY– OUT AND/OR BUY–DOWN COSTS WERE PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for each contract separately the information requested below. Only report the information requested for contract buy-downs and buy-outs that occurred under your contracts during reporting years 2018 or 2019 and that are not under dispute i.e., parties agree there was indeed a shortfall. Type of Respondents: The filing must be submitted by all FERC-jurisdictional utilities owning and/or operating at least one steam-electric generating station of 50 MW or greater capacity or having a majority ownership interest in a jointly-owned steam-electric generating station of at least 50 MW. A jurisdictional utility without a costbased tariff on file with the Commission is not required to file the form. Estimate of Annual Burden. 3 The Commission estimates the annual 4 public reporting burden and cost 5 for the information collection as: FERC FORM 580 (INTERROGATORY ON FUEL AND ENERGY PURCHASE PRACTICES) Number of respondents Annual number of responses per respondent Total number of responses Average burden & cost ($) per response Total annual burden hours & total annual cost ($) Annual cost per respondent ($) (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 103 hrs.; $8,240 ........ 20 hrs.; $1,600 .......... 2 hrs.; $160 ............... 1,493.5 hrs.; $119,480 ... 90 hrs.; $7,200 ............... 28 hrs.; $2,240 ............... FACs 6 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Respondents with ................................ Respondents with AACs, but no FACs ............ Respondents with no AACs and no FACs ...... 29 9 28 3 Burden is defined as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a federal agency. See 5 CFR 1320 for additional information on the definition of information collection burden. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Dec 13, 2019 Jkt 250001 0.5 0.5 0.5 14.5 4.5 14 4 The FERC Form 580 interrogatory is conducted every two years, we are using 0.5 for annual number of responses. 5 Commission staff finds that the work done on this information collection is typically done by wage categories like those at FERC. The estimates PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 $4,120 800 80 for cost (for wages plus benefits) are derived using the 2019 FERC average salary plus benefits of $167,091/year (or $80.00/hour). 6 Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC). E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 68442 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2019 / Notices FERC FORM 580 (INTERROGATORY ON FUEL AND ENERGY PURCHASE PRACTICES)—Continued Total .......................................................... Number of respondents Annual number of responses per respondent Total number of responses Average burden & cost ($) per response Total annual burden hours & total annual cost ($) Annual cost per respondent ($) (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) ........................ ........................ .................................... 1,611.5 hrs.; $128,920 ... .................... Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimates of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Dated: December 10, 2019. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–27015 Filed 12–13–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC19–46–000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC–604); Comment Request; Extension Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE. AGENCY: Notice of information collection and request for comments. ACTION: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comments on the currently approved information collection, FERC– 604 (Cash Management Agreements) and submitting the information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Dec 13, 2019 Jkt 250001 33 Comments on the collection of information are due January 15, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902–0267, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Office. A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC19–46–000, by either of the following methods: • eFiling at Commission’s Website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http:// www.ferc.gov/help/submissionguide.asp. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support by email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208–3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502–8659 for TTY. Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docsfiling/docs-filing.asp. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Brown may be reached by email at DataClearance@FERC.gov, telephone at (202) 502–8663, and fax at (202) 273– 0873. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: FERC–604 (Cash Management Agreements). OMB Control No.: 1902–0267. Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC–604 with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Abstract: On September 6, 2019 (84 FR 46949), the Commission published a Notice in the Federal Register in Docket No. IC19–46–000 requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments and is noting that in the related submittal to OMB. Cash management or ‘‘money pool’’ programs typically concentrate affiliates’ cash DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 assets in joint accounts for the purpose of providing financial flexibility and lowering the cost of borrowing. In a 2001 investigation, FERC staff found that balances in cash management programs affecting FERC-regulated entities totaled approximately $16 billion. Additionally, other investigations revealed large transfers of funds amounting to more than $1 billion between regulated pipeline affiliates and non-regulated parents whose financial conditions were precarious. The Commission found that these and other fund transfers and the enormous (mostly unregulated) pools of money in cash management programs could detrimentally affect regulated rates. To protect customers and promote transparency, the Commission issued Order No. 634–A (2003) requiring entities to formalize in writing and file with the Commission their cash management agreements. At that time, the Commission obtained OMB clearance for the new reporting requirement under the FERC–555 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902–0098). The Commission includes these reporting requirements for cash management agreements under the FERC–604 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902–0267). The Commission implemented these reporting requirements in 18 CFR 141.500, 260.400, and 357.5. Type of Respondents: Public utilities, natural gas companies, and oil pipeline companies. Estimate of Annual Burden.1 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden and cost 2 for the information collection as: 1 Burden is defined as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a federal agency. See 5 CFR 1320 for additional information on the definition of information collection burden. 2 The Commission staff estimates that industry is similarly situated in terms of hourly cost (for wages plus benefits). Based on the Commission’s FY (Fiscal Year) 2019 average cost of $167,091 (for wages plus benefits), $80.00/hour is used. E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 241 (Monday, December 16, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68438-68442]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27015]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. IC19-45-000]


Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC Form 580); 
Comment Request; Extension

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of information collection and request for comments.

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SUMMARY:  In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently 
approved information collection, FERC Form 580 (Interrogatory on Fuel 
and Energy Purchase Practices) and submitting the information 
collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Any 
interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should 
address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below.

[[Page 68439]]


DATES:  Comments on the collection of information are due January 15, 
2020.

ADDRESSES:  Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 
1902-0137, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs: [email protected]; Attention: Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission Desk Officer.
    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in 
Docket No. IC19-45-000, by either of the following methods:
     eFiling at Commission's Website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in 
accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support 
by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 
(toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.
    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of 
activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and 
issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Ellen Brown may be reached by email 
at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at 
(202) 273-0873.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: FERC Form 580, (Interrogatory on Fuel and Energy Purchase 
Practices Pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal Power Act).
    OMB Control No.: 1902-0137.
    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC Form 580 with no 
changes to the current reporting requirements. The administrative 
changes to the time period covered in FERC Form 580 are listed in the 
abstract.
    Abstract: On October 1, 2019 (84 FR 52080), the Commission 
published a Notice in the Federal Register in Docket No. IC19-45-000 
requesting public comments. The Commission received one public comments 
and is indicating that in the related submittal to OMB.
    The Commission collects FERC Form 580 information every other year 
as required under Section 205(f)(2) of the FPA as amended by Section 
208 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The 
Commission uses the information collected on the FERC Form 580 
interrogatory to review utility purchase and cost recovery practices 
through automatic adjustment clauses (AACs) in order to ensure 
efficient use of resources.\1\ The Commission uses the information to 
evaluate costs in individual rate filings and to supplement periodic 
utility audits. The public also uses the information in this manner. 
Without the FERC Form 580 interrogatory, the Commission would not have 
the requisite information to conduct the necessary review the FPA 
mandates.
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    \1\ By using the data in FERC Form 580, the Commission is able 
to review utility purchase and cost recovery practices and ensure 
the resources are in compliance with Commission regulations in 18 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 35.14.
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Summary of Public Comments

    On December 2, 2019, American Electric Power Service Corporation 
(AEPSC) filed comments. AEPSC states that the Commission should further 
clarify in the Desk Reference the scope of necessary respondents 
including:
    (1) That only jurisdictional utilities with cost-based tariffs on 
file that contain AACs should be required to submit Form 580; and
    (2) that contracts entered into pursuant to a utilities' market-
based rate authority (regardless of whether such contract happens to be 
cost-based and contain an AAC) are outside the scope of the necessary 
reporting.
    However, AEPSC explains that Form 580 itself indicates that such 
scope limitations are intended. AEPSC also states that while it has not 
estimated the time it spends on each form, the time spent collecting 
the information and completing the form appear to be understated. AEPSC 
provides suggestions for minimizing the burden on respondents, which 
AEPSC explains would be addressed through implementing new software. 
Additionally, AEPSC asserts that the Commission should consider 
providing greater consistency in terms and directions across different 
forms.

FERC Response to Public Comments

    First, the Commission finds that while AEPSC states that the Desk 
Reference is not clear enough, AEPSC acknowledges that FERC Form 580 
provides the necessary level of clarity. The Desk Reference is provided 
to answer common questions and assist filers in completing the FERC 
Form 580. Therefore, the Commission finds that revisions to the Desk 
Reference are not necessary for respondents to understand what is 
required to report as long as the directions on the FERC Form 580 are 
clear.
    Second, the Commission finds that while AEPSC states that the 
burden estimates appear understated, AEPSC has not provided sufficient 
evidence to support its claim. Without additional factual information, 
the Commission does not have a basis to revise the burden estimate.
    Third, we find that implementing major software updates is beyond 
the scope and timing of this docket. We will take the comment under 
consideration for future activities on the FERC Form 580.
    Lastly, while AEPSC asserts that the Commission should consider 
consistency in terms and directions across different forms, we find 
that this is not necessary for respondents to be able to understand how 
to complete FERC Form 580. Moreover, changes to forms other than FERC 
Form 580 are beyond the scope of this information collection and might 
require rulemaking(s).
    FERC is making the following administrative changes \2\ (e.g., to 
update the period covered) to the form:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ These changes were inadvertently omitted in the 60-day 
notice published on October 1, 2019 (84 FR 52080).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 2a

--Revise Question 2a columns as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Docket number under which rate schedule  Docket number under which rate
 containing AAC through which costs       schedule containing AAC
 were passed during 2016 and/or 2017      through which costs were
 was accepted for filing by FERC.         passed during 2018 and/or 2019
                                          was accepted for filing by
                                          FERC.
Was rate schedule superseded or          Was rate schedule superseded or
 abandoned during 2016-2017? If so,       abandoned during 2018-2019? If
 provide Dates.                           so, provide dates.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 68440]]

Question 2b

--Revise the paragraph under Question 2b to read:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If any of the Utility's wholesale rate   If any of the Utility's
 and/or service agreements containing     wholesale rate and/or service
 an AAC listed in Question 2a, that was   agreements containing an AAC
 used during 2016 and/or 2017, was        listed in Question 2a, that
 filed with the Commission before         was used during 2018 and/or
 January 1, 1990, attach an electronic    2019, was filed with the
 copy of it with this filing. List the    Commission before January 1,
 documents you are submitting below.      1990, attach an electronic
 Note: Once this information is           copy of it with this filing.
 submitted electronically in a text-      List the documents you are
 searchable format it will not be         submitting below. Note: Once
 necessary to submit it in future Form    this information is submitted
 580 filings. See: http://www.ferc.gov/   electronically in a text-
 docs-filing/elibrary/accept-file-        searchable format it will not
 formats.asp for listing of Commission    be necessary to submit it in
 accepted document types.                 future Form 580 filings. See:
                                          http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary/accept-file-formats.asp for listing of
                                          Commission accepted document
                                          types.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 3

--Revise the paragraph under Question 3 to read:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If during the 2016-2017 period, the      If during the 2018-2019 period,
 Utility had any contracts or             the Utility had any contracts
 agreements for the purchase of either    or agreements for the purchase
 energy or capacity under which all or    of either energy or capacity
 any portion of the purchase costs were   under which all or any portion
 passed through a fuel adjustment         of the purchase costs were
 clause (FAC), for each purchase from a   passed through a fuel
 PURPA Qualifying Facility (QF) or        adjustment clause (FAC), for
 Independent Power Producer (IPP)         each purchase from a PURPA
 provide the information requested in     Qualifying Facility (QF) or
 the non-shaded columns of the table      Independent Power Producer
 below. Provide the information           (IPP) provide the information
 separately for each reporting year       requested in the non-shaded
 2016 and 2017. Do not report purchased   columns of the table below.
 power where none of the costs were       Provide the information
 recovered through an FAC. For each       separately for each reporting
 purchase where costs were flowed         year 2018 and 2019. Do not
 through an FAC, fill-in the non-shaded   report purchased power where
 columns and either ``Only energy         none of the costs were
 charges'' or ``The total cost of the     recovered through an FAC. For
 purchase of economic power'' columns,    each purchase where costs were
 whichever apply.                         flowed through an FAC, fill-in
                                          the non-shaded columns and
                                          either ``Only energy charges''
                                          or ``The total cost of the
                                          purchase of economic power''
                                          columns, whichever apply.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 4a

--Revise Question 4a columns as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If emission allowance costs were         If emission allowance costs
 incurred by the Utility in 2016 and/or   were incurred by the Utility
 2017 and were recovered through a FAC,   in 2018 and/or 2019 and were
 provide the following information.       recovered through a FAC,
                                          provide the following
                                          information.
Dollar value of emission allowance cost  Dollar value of emission
 passed through a FAC: 2016               allowance cost passed through
 [verbarlm]2017.                          a FAC: 2018 [verbarlm]2019.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 5

--Revise the paragraph under Question 5 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Provide the information requested below  Provide the information
 regarding the Utility's fuel             requested below regarding the
 procurement policies and practices in    Utility's fuel procurement
 place during 2016 and/or 2017 for        policies and practices in
 fuels whose costs were subject to 18     place during 2018 and/or 2019
 CFR 35.14. Note: Responses to this       for fuels whose costs were
 question may be filed as Privileged.     subject to 18 CFR 35.14. Note:
 To do so, skip this question now and     Responses to this question may
 answer it via the Fuel Procurement       be filed as Privileged. To do
 Policies and Practices Privileged        so, skip this question now and
 Addendum provided. Otherwise, answer     answer it via the Fuel
 it here and your responses will be       Procurement Policies and
 made public.                             Practices Privileged Addendum
                                          provided. Otherwise, answer it
                                          here and your responses will
                                          be made public.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 6

--Revise the paragraph under Question 6 as follows:

[[Page 68441]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
For each fuel supply contract, of        For each fuel supply contract,
 longer than one year in duration, in     of longer than one year in
 force at any time during 2016 and/or     duration, in force at any time
 2017, where costs were subject to 18     during 2018 and/or 2019, where
 CFR 35.14, (including informal           costs were subject to 18 CFR
 agreements with associated companies),   35.14, (including informal
 provide the requested information.       agreements with associated
 Report the information individually      companies), provide the
 for each contract, for each calendar     requested information. Report
 year. [No response to any part of        the information individually
 Question 6 for fuel oil no. 2 is         for each contract, for each
 necessary.] Report all fuels consumed    calendar year. [No response to
 for electric power generation and        any part of Question 6 for
 thermal energy associated with the       fuel oil no. 2 is necessary.]
 production of electricity. Information   Report all fuels consumed for
 for only coal, natural gas, and oil      electric power generation and
 should be reported.                      thermal energy associated with
                                          the production of electricity.
                                          Information for only coal,
                                          natural gas, and oil should be
                                          reported.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 7

--Revise the paragraph under Question 7 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
For each fuel supply contract,           For each fuel supply contract,
 including informal agreements with       including informal agreements
 associated or affiliated companies in    with associated or affiliated
 force at any time during 2016 or 2017    companies in force at any time
 WHERE CONTRACT SHORTFALL COSTS WERE      during 2018 or 2019 WHERE
 PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to 18      CONTRACT SHORTFALL COSTS WERE
 CFR 35.14, provide for each contract     PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject
 separately the information requested     to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for
 below. Only report the information       each contract separately the
 requested for shortfalls that occurred   information requested below.
 under your contracts during reporting    Only report the information
 years 2016 or 2017 and that are not      requested for shortfalls that
 under dispute, i.e., parties agree       occurred under your contracts
 there was indeed a shortfall.            during reporting years 2018 or
                                          2019 and that are not under
                                          dispute, i.e., parties agree
                                          there was indeed a shortfall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 8

--Revise the paragraph under Question 8 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  From                                  To
------------------------------------------------------------------------
For each fuel supply contract that was   For each fuel supply contract
 bought-out or bought-down, including     that was bought-out or bought-
 informal agreements with associated or   down, including informal
 affiliated companies in force at any     agreements with associated or
 time during 2016 or 2017 WHERE           affiliated companies in force
 CONTRACT BUY-OUT AND/OR BUY-DOWN COSTS   at any time during 2018 or
 WERE PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject to    2019 WHERE CONTRACT BUY-OUT
 18 CFR 35.14, provide for each           AND/OR BUY-DOWN COSTS WERE
 contract separately the information      PASSED THROUGH an FAC subject
 requested below. Only report the         to 18 CFR 35.14, provide for
 information requested for contract buy-  each contract separately the
 downs and buy-outs that occurred under   information requested below.
 your contracts during reporting years    Only report the information
 2016 or 2017 and that are not under      requested for contract buy-
 dispute, i.e., parties agree there was   downs and buy-outs that
 indeed a shortfall.                      occurred under your contracts
                                          during reporting years 2018 or
                                          2019 and that are not under
                                          dispute i.e., parties agree
                                          there was indeed a shortfall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Type of Respondents: The filing must be submitted by all FERC-
jurisdictional utilities owning and/or operating at least one steam-
electric generating station of 50 MW or greater capacity or having a 
majority ownership interest in a jointly-owned steam-electric 
generating station of at least 50 MW. A jurisdictional utility without 
a cost-based tariff on file with the Commission is not required to file 
the form.
    Estimate of Annual Burden. \3\ The Commission estimates the annual 
\4\ public reporting burden and cost \5\ for the information collection 
as:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Burden is defined as the total time, effort, or financial 
resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or 
disclose or provide information to or for a federal agency. See 5 
CFR 1320 for additional information on the definition of information 
collection burden.
    \4\ The FERC Form 580 interrogatory is conducted every two 
years, we are using 0.5 for annual number of responses.
    \5\ Commission staff finds that the work done on this 
information collection is typically done by wage categories like 
those at FERC. The estimates for cost (for wages plus benefits) are 
derived using the 2019 FERC average salary plus benefits of 
$167,091/year (or $80.00/hour).
    \6\ Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC).

                                           FERC Form 580 (Interrogatory on Fuel and Energy Purchase Practices)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                             Annual cost
                                     Number of     Annual number   Total number    Average burden & cost ($)   Total annual burden hours &       per
                                    respondents    of responses    of responses          per response             total annual cost ($)       respondent
                                                  per respondent                                                                                 ($)
                                             (1)             (2)     (1) * (2) =  (4).......................  (3) * (4) = (5)..............    (5) / (1)
                                                                             (3)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Respondents with FACs \6\.......              29             0.5            14.5  103 hrs.; $8,240..........  1,493.5 hrs.; $119,480.......       $4,120
Respondents with AACs, but no                  9             0.5             4.5  20 hrs.; $1,600...........  90 hrs.; $7,200..............          800
 FACs.
Respondents with no AACs and no               28             0.5              14  2 hrs.; $160..............  28 hrs.; $2,240..............           80
 FACs.
                                 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 68442]]

 
    Total.......................  ..............  ..............              33  ..........................  1,611.5 hrs.; $128,920.......  ...........
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Commission, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and 
cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to 
minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are 
to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.

    Dated: December 10, 2019.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-27015 Filed 12-13-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P