In Interrogatory, Texas PUC Staff Ask If Avangrid Would Agree To Cease Operations Of Its Retail Provider In TNMP's Territory As Part Of Acquiring TNMP
February 1, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas has issued a series of interrogatories to Avangrid, Inc., as part of the Commission's review of the application of Texas-New Mexico Power for approval of the merger of its parent, PNM Resources, and Avangrid. Inc.
As previously reported, the PUC recently ruled that, in reviewing the merger, the Commission should consider the issue of the parent of a transmission and distribution utility (TDU) also owning generation or a retail electric provider.
Among other things, Avangrid owns the recently launched Iberdrola Texas retail electric provider in Texas, as well as Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid currently owns 1,900 MW of renewable energy and a pipeline of 1,400 MW of renewables assets in New Mexico and Texas.
Although Commissioners had noted that the structure of the market had generally moved away from TDUs having REP affiliates, the PUC in November 2020 granted Blue Star Energy, LLC, an affiliate of AEP Texas, an Option 1 Texas retail electric provider certificate (see story here)
Among Staff's data requests is the interrogatory: "Would Avangrid agree to cease the operations of affiliate REPs operating in TNMP's service territory as part of the Proposed Transaction?"
Staff also issued the following interrogatory: "Please explain how, post-transaction: a. Avangrid Renewables (or any other Avangrid affiliate) would proceed in developing or acquiring new generation supply resources in Texas. b. Please include a description of how Avangrid would secure necessary interconnection and transmission service. c. How will Avangrid ensure that in a project interconnecting in TNMP's territory, or otherwise requiring transmission service on TNMP's system, Avangrid will be treated no differently than any other transmission customer?"
Staff also noted that, as previously reported, applicants have proposed an $8.6 million rate credit to customer electric delivery rates over a period of three years. Staff asked: "What portion of the rate credit would be passed through to end-use customers in each of the three years?"
As previously reported, applicants include the following regulatory commitment as part of their merger approval application: "Name and Logo – TNMP will maintain a separate name and logo from Avangrid, Iberdrola, and all other Avangrid and Iberdrola subsidiaries and affiliates; provided that the Avangrid name and logo can also be added for branding purposes (e.g., 'An Avangrid Company')."
Separately, the Alliance for Retail Markets issued information requests to the applicants concerning the use of logos, including the following:
• If the proposed transaction is approved, will Avangrid's name or logo be used on websites for TNMP?
• If the proposed transaction is approved, will Avangrid's name or logo be used on websites for any competitive affiliate(s) of TNMP? If so, which affiliates?
• Please describe Avangrid's marketing strategy to use the Avangrid name or logo in conjunction with the name or logo of TNMP. If any marketing materials have been prepared, please provide a copy.
• Please describe Avangrid's marketing strategy to use the Avangrid name or logo in conjunction with the name or logo of each competitive affiliate of TNMP. If any marketing materials have been prepared, please provide a copy