Dayton Power and Light Co. and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff are working toward a settlement on the utility's distribution modernization rider and electric security plan. As a result, PUCO staff and DP&L filed a joint motion with the commission to continue the evidentiary hearing set to begin Jan. 25.
"These discussions have been productive; however, more time is necessary to fully explore whether these cases can be resolved, either in whole or in part, by stipulation," the parties wrote in a Jan. 23 motion. "The evidentiary hearing, as currently scheduled, will impede that progress."
PUCO staff and DP&L said they are asking for a "short, one-week continuance" to reschedule the hearing to begin Feb. 1.
The AES Corp. subsidiary in late September 2016 filed notice with PUCO that it was withdrawing its reliable electricity rider proposal and would instead pursue a distribution modernization rider as part of its proposed electric security plan. DP&L wants to recover $145 million annually through the seven-year rider.
DP&L's revised plan runs from Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2023, and removes a controversial generation subsidy proposal designed to act as an income guarantee for more than 2,000 MW of coal-fired generation in Ohio. FERC has stepped in on plans to subsidize generation in the state. DP&L, however, does seek to recover deferred costs tied to its interests in the Kyger Creek and Clifty Creek coal plants.
In addition, DP&L said it is requesting the distribution modernization rider to help the company maintain its financial strength and "to allow DP&L to access equity and debt capital in order to finance transmission and distribution infrastructure modernization investments." DP&L also said the cash flow generated from the distribution rider will be used to pay interest obligations on existing debt at the utility and its direct parent, DPL Inc., as well as to make discretionary debt prepayments at DPL and DP&L.
The PUCO in October 2016 approved a three-year, $204 million distribution rider for FirstEnergy Corp.'s Ohio utilities designed to support the parent company's credit ratings while benefiting customers through grid modernization.
(PUCO dockets 16-0395-EL-SSO, 16-0397-EL-AAM and 16-0396-EL-ATA)