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Southwestern Public Service files uncontested settlement in NM rate case

Southwestern Public Service Co., along with several other parties, on Jan. 13 filed an uncontested comprehensive stipulation with New Mexico regulators, seeking a base rate revenue increase of $31 million, based on a 9.45% return on equity and an equity ratio of 54.77%.

The stipulation also includes an acceleration of depreciation on the Tolk coal plant to reflect early retirement in 2037, resulting in a total increase in depreciation expense of $8 million, according to a Jan. 14 filing.

In July 2019, the Xcel Energy Inc. subsidiary originally filed an application requesting an increase in retail electric base rates of about $51 million, based on an ROE of 10.35%, and an equity ratio of 54.77%.

In December 2019, the company revised its requested increase to $47 million, based on an ROE of 10.10%. It also included an increase of $14.6 million for accelerated depreciation including the early retirement of the Tolk facility in 2032.

Hearings are scheduled to start Feb. 17 and may extend until Feb. 21, as necessary. Final rates are expected to take effect in the second or third quarter of 2020.