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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 320. Regulations Governing Transfer of Transmission Assets to Regional Transmission Entities
1/22/2020

20VAC5-320-10. Applicability and Scope.

These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (§ 56-576 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), and they apply to any incumbent electric utility owning, operating, controlling, or having an entitlement to transmission capacity within the Commonwealth. Sections 56-577 and 56-579 of the Act require Virginia's incumbent electric utilities to (i) join or establish regional transmission entities (RTEs) by January 1, 2001, and (ii) seek the commission's authorization to transfer their transmission assets to such RTEs.

Specifically, § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia requires that on or before January 1, 2001, incumbent electric utilities owning, operating, controlling, or having entitlement to transmission capacity join or establish RTEs. The utilities are required to transfer the management and control of their transmission systems to the RTEs, subject to the provisions of § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia.

Additionally, § 56-579 provides that no incumbent electric utility shall transfer to any person any ownership, control, or operation of any portion of any transmission system within the Commonwealth without obtaining the commission's prior approval.

Finally, certain transfers of utility assets are subject to the Utilities Transfers Act (§ 56-88 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

In short, incumbent electric utilities that own, operate, control or have entitlement to transmission capacity are subject to three provisions: (i) the obligation to join or establish an RTE, (ii) the obligation to obtain commission approval before transferring ownership, control or operation to an RTE, and (iii) obligations imposed by the Utilities Transfers Act. Although these provisions are distinct, they overlap.

In the interest of administrative efficiency, the commission will utilize a single proceeding in which the utility seeks approval for a proposed transfer under § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia and under the Utilities Transfers Act. In that proceeding, the commission will determine whether (i) the RTE to which the applicant proposes to transfer any ownership or control of, or any responsibility to operate, any portion of its transmission system satisfies the legislative criteria set forth in § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia, and (ii) the transfer otherwise satisfies the provisions of § 56-579 and the Utilities Transfers Act.

Accordingly, these regulations establish:

1. The elements of regional transmission entity structures essential to the public interest, to be applied by the commission in determining whether to authorize transfer of ownership or control from an incumbent electric utility to a regional transmission entity, all as required by § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia;

2. Filing requirements for entities that (i) are required to comply with the mandate of § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia that certain entities join or establish regional transmission entities, and (ii) seek the commission's permission to transfer control, ownership, or responsibility of or for transmission to a regional transmission entity pursuant to § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia and the Utilities Transfers Act; and

3. A schedule for such filings by the entities having obligations under § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 16, Issue 24, eff. July 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2013.

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