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A32, R54, S312
Sponsors: Senators Martin, Hayes, Drummond, Thomas, Verdin, Vaughn, Mescher, Cromer, Elliott, Anderson, Sheheen, Reese, O'Dell, Alexander and Short
Document Path: l:\council\bills\dka\3129dw07.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3309
Introduced in the Senate on January 23, 2007
Introduced in the House on April 17, 2007
Last Amended on April 5, 2007
Passed by the General Assembly on May 4, 2007
Governor's Action: May 22, 2007, Signed
Summary: Joint Municipal Electric Power and Energy Act
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/23/2007 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-5 1/23/2007 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-5 1/26/2007 Senate Referred to Subcommittee: Moore (ch), Ford, Mescher, Rankin, Scott 4/4/2007 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary SJ-3 4/5/2007 Senate Amended SJ-16 4/5/2007 Senate Read second time SJ-16 4/9/2007 Scrivener's error corrected 4/12/2007 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-24 4/17/2007 House Introduced and read first time HJ-19 4/17/2007 House Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-19 5/2/2007 House Recalled from Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-37 5/3/2007 House Read second time HJ-157 5/3/2007 House Unanimous consent for third reading on next legislative day HJ-158 5/4/2007 House Read third time and enrolled HJ-3 5/17/2007 Ratified R 54 5/22/2007 Signed By Governor 5/30/2007 Copies available 5/30/2007 Effective date 05/22/07 6/15/2007 Act No. 32
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A32, R54, S312)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 6-23-20, 6-23-30, AND 6-23-40, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE JOINT MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC POWER AND ENERGY ACT, SO AS TO MAKE GRAMMATICAL CHANGES AND CORRECT ARCHAIC LANGUAGE, TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE ACQUISITION OF A PROJECT BE BY PURCHASE FROM AN ELECTRIC SUPPLIER GENERALLY SERVING THE AREA IN WHICH THE MEMBERS ARE LOCATED; AND TO AMEND SECTION 6-23-60, RELATING TO FILING A PETITION BY A JOINT AGENCY WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION WITH INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR THE COMMISSION TO MAKE A DETERMINATION OF AN ACQUISITION, SO AS TO ADD A PROVISION REQUIRING THE COMMISSION TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WHETHER THE EFFECT OF THE ACQUISITION WOULD HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE JOINT AGENCY TO SATISFY EXISTING FINANCIAL AND CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS THAT IT MAY HAVE INCURRED IN THE ACQUISITION OF ANY PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED PROJECTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Definitions, powers of joint agencies, procedure for formation
SECTION 1. Sections 6-23-20, 6-23-30, and 6-23-40 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 6-23-20. The terms used in this chapter have the following meaning unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1) 'Area generally served by the same electric supplier' means that area located in any county or counties of this State and assigned to an electric supplier by the Public Service Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 58-27-640 and to the Public Service Authority by Article 3 of Title 58.
(2) 'Bonds' mean electric revenue bonds, notes, certificates, or other obligations of indebtedness of a joint agency issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and include refunding bonds.
(3) 'Cost' or 'cost of a project' means, but is not limited to, the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, or extension of a project, including the cost of studies, plans, specifications, surveys, and estimates of costs and revenues relating to it; the cost of land, land rights, rights-of-way and easements, water rights, fees, permits, approvals, licenses, certificates, franchises, and the preparation of applications for and securing these; administrative, legal, engineering, and inspection expenses; financing fees, expenses, and costs; working capital; initial fuel costs; interest on the bonds during construction and for a reasonable time after that is determined by the joint agency; establishment of reserves; and other expenditure of the joint agency incidental, necessary, or convenient to the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, or extension of any project and the placing of them in operation.
(4) 'Governing body' means, with respect to a municipality, the board, council, commission, or other legislative body charged by law with governing the municipality.
(5) 'Electric supplier' means an electric utility regulated by the Public Service Commission, electric cooperative, or municipal electric system authorized to do business within the State or the Public Service Authority.
(6) 'Joint agency' means a public body and body corporate and politic organized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(7) 'Municipality' means a city or town created pursuant to the laws of the State, or agency, board, commission, or council of it, that has owned for at least ten years a system or facilities for the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric power and energy for public and private uses.
(8) 'Project' means a system or facilities for the generation, transmission, and transformation, not distribution, of electric power and energy by any means including, but not limited to, any one or more electric generating units situated at a particular site or any interest in any of them or any right to the output, capacity, use, or services of it.
(9) 'State' means the State of South Carolina.
Section 6-23-30. In addition and supplemental to the powers granted to municipalities of the State, and in order to accomplish the purpose of this chapter, a municipality may plan, finance, develop, acquire, purchase, construct, reconstruct, improve, enlarge, own, operate, and maintain an undivided interest as a tenant-in-common in a project situated within or without the State jointly with one or more municipalities in this State or any other state, owning electric distribution facilities, or with any political subdivisions or agencies of any other state, and may make these plans and enter into these contracts in connection with them, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, as are necessary or appropriate; provided, all municipal tenants-in-common must be located within the area generally served by the same electric supplier. The acquisition of a project or projects by municipalities as tenants-in-common by purchase is limited to a project or projects under construction on the date of approval of this chapter, or a project or projects on which construction will commence subsequent to the date of approval of this chapter. The amount of capacity and output of a project purchased by municipal tenants-in-common may not be less than ten percent of the rated capacity of the project.
Municipal tenants-in-common pursuant to the provisions of this section, by contract, may waive their right of partition either in kind or by sale. The power and right to enter into agreements to waive the right of judicial partition authorized by this section are in addition to these powers and rights already authorized by the laws of South Carolina.
Nothing contained in this section prevents a municipality or municipalities from undertaking studies to determine whether there is a need for a project or whether the project is feasible.
Section 6-23-40. The procedure before formation of a joint agency must be as follows:
(1) The governing body of two or more municipalities may determine, by resolution or ordinance, that it is in the best interests of the respective municipalities and their electric customers in accomplishing the purposes of this chapter to create a joint agency for the purpose of undertaking the planning, financing, development, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a project or projects to supply electric power and energy for the municipalities' present and future needs as an alternative or supplemental method of obtaining the benefits and assuming the responsibilities of ownership in a project; provided, membership of municipalities in a joint agency shall consist only of municipalities located within the area generally served by the same electric supplier as of the date of issuance of a corporate certificate for such joint agency pursuant to Section 6-23-80. This resolution or ordinance must be approved by a majority of the members of the governing body of the municipality.
(2) In determining whether or not the creation of a joint agency for this purpose is in the best interests of the municipalities and their electric customers, the governing body shall take into consideration, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) whether or not a separate entity may be able to finance the costs of a project or projects in a more efficient and economical manner;
(b) whether or not a better financial market acceptance may result if one entity is responsible for issuing all of the bonds required for a project or projects in a timely and orderly manner;
(c) whether or not savings and other advantages may be obtained by providing a separate entity responsible for the acquisition, purchase, construction, ownership, and operation of a project or projects.
(3) If the proposed creation of a joint agency is found to be in the best interests of a municipality, the governing body of the municipality shall give notice of its action publishing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality. A person affected by the action of the governing body of the municipality may challenge the action of the municipality, by action de novo, instituted in the court of common pleas for the county in which the municipality is located, within twenty days following the last publication of the notice prescribed in this section."
Public Service Commission to determine if acquisition is beneficial to joint agency
SECTION 2. Section 6-23-60(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(B) The Public Service Commission is authorized to approve or disapprove the proposed acquisition by a joint agency of a project or projects which consist of an electric generating plant or plants and associated facilities designed for, or capable of, operation at a capacity of more than seventy-five megawatts, or which consist of electric transmission lines and associated facilities of a designed operating voltage of one hundred twenty-five kilovolts or more. There is no requirement for approval by the Public Service Commission for a project or projects for other transmission or generating facilities, or for facilities for distribution or transformation, or any of them, of electric power and energy. However, the joint agency may not acquire or purchase projects or capacity if, after the purchase or acquisition, the joint power agency would own, contract for, or control generating resources exceeding one hundred eighty-five percent of the member municipalities historical territorial peak. In determining whether it is beneficial to the joint agency, the Public Service Commission shall take into consideration, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) the economies and efficiencies to be achieved in constructing on a large scale, facilities for the generation and transmission of electric power and energy;
(2) the municipalities' needs for reserve and peaking capacity and to meet obligations under pooling and reserve-sharing agreements reasonably related to its needs for power and energy to which it is or may become a party;
(3) the estimated useful life of the project;
(4) the estimated time necessary for the planning, development, acquisition, or construction of the project and the length of time required in advance to obtain, acquire, or construct additional power supplies;
(5) the reliability and availability of existing or alternative power supply sources and the costs of the existing or alternative power supply sources;
(6) the load forecast of capacity of a project and the utilization of the capacity by the joint agency for a reasonable period of time subsequent to the date of commercial operation of the project; and
(7) the effect of the proposed acquisition on the ability of the joint agency to satisfy existing financial and contractual obligations that it may have incurred in the acquisition of any previously acquired projects."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 17th day of May, 2007.
Approved the 22nd day of May, 2007.
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