This summer will be a big one for Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and its ratepayers as the electric utility expects to present its plans for dealing with current and future federal emissions regulations.
OG&E plans to file its outlook for future generation needs in June with regulators in Oklahoma and Arkansas. That month also will be the first time electric utilities get a look at new federal regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
“We want to ensure our compliance plans contemplate realistic scenarios, providing for a reasonable risk-adjusted cost impact on customers,” OGE Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO Pete Delaney told financial analysts in a conference call Thursday.
Oklahoma law allows utilities to recover the costs of environmental compliance from their ratepayers. OG&E said it expects to spend between $1 billion and $1.5 billion on power plant upgrades, modifications or retirements.
In August, OG&E expects to file its environmental compliance plan with regulators that would detail how those costs might affect ratepayers.
Delaney said the utility didn’t hold out much hope for the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to review a lower court’s decision on a regional haze compliance plan backed by OG&E, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and a group of industrial consumers. A Denver-based appeals court last year ruled in favor of a stricter federal plan, but kept in place a stay on its implementation.
“While we are hopeful the court will hear our case and continue to stay EPA’s federal implementation plan for Oklahoma, we understand that only a small percentage of such appeals get accepted for consideration,” Delaney said.
If the Supreme Court doesn’t take up the case and the stay is lifted, OG&E will have 55 months to come in compliance with the regional haze rule. Delaney told analysts that would put the deadline in the spring of 2019.
While we are hopeful the court will hear our case and continue to stay EPA’s federal implementation plan for Oklahoma, we understand that only a small percentage of such appeals get accepted for consideration.”
OGE Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO