NextEra Files Motion for Rehearing in Oncor Case

NextEra Files Motion for Rehearing in Oncor Case

May 9, 2017

by Margarita Fournier; Copyright 2016 by Competitive Assets, LLC.  All rights reserved

On 5/8/17, NextEra Energy filed with the PUCT a Motion for Rehearing (MFR) in the Oncor acquisition case. A month ago, the company’s application to buy Oncor was rejected by the Commission as not being in the public interest. The case was subject to a four-day hearing on the merits in February; additionally, at the 3/30/17 open meeting, Commissioners discussed it and noted that negotiations were still possible. The 4/13/17 final order, however, was approved without much debate, implying that any further talks were off the table.

Now, NextEra’s MFR alleges Commission errors in 14 areas; also, it states, in part, that the order “denies these and other benefits of the proposed transactions because the Commission is unwilling to allow NextEra Energy to exercise governance control over Oncor, an entity in which NextEra Energy will invest $12.2 billion to acquire. This Commission-imposed public interest bar against allowing an acquiring entity to exercise governance control over an acquired utility is contrary to” the legislature’s intent, statutory criteria governing approval of transactions under PURA §§ 39.262 and 39.915, and the record evidence. This is a reference to the Commission’s condition (or, a “deal breaker”) that the Oncor Board remain independent. The Commission has 20 days to act on the MFR (unless the time is extended).

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