SACE provides its voice to calls for the South Carolina Public Service Commission to disqualify Pegasus Global as their guide for key regulatory proceedings.

Bryan Jacob | August 6, 2019 | South Carolina, Utilities

Andrew Brown on the Post and Courier broke a story last week that the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) had made an unwise — and doubtlessly unlawful — determination to rent Pegasus Global Holdings as their guide for key upcoming “avoided cost” proceedings.

The problem is not that they hand-picked Pegasus Global. The new regulation particularly exempted the Commission from the State Procurement Code within the choice and hiring of a 3rd-social gathering guide. The problem is whether or not Pegasus Global is legitimately certified and impartial.

SACE has shared these considerations with the South Carolina PSC and is supporting an official request for the Commission to rescind the engagement of Pegasus Global because the required third-social gathering guide. Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) represents SACE within the matter and filed a letter yesterday on behalf of us and Coastal Conservation League (CCL).

We level out within the letter that:

“key personnel” recognized by Pegasus-Global Holdings seem to lack experience on the averted price points topic to those dockets. They don’t self-determine as specialists on averted prices of their resumes or testimony earlier than different utility commissions. Instead, they self-determine as “a management consulting firm that provides services to the utility industry.” The solely point out of averted prices in any of those peoples’ backgrounds is a paper initially printed by Dr. Galloway and Dr. Nielsen in 1987 – over thirty years in the past.

SACE has expertise with Pegasus Global in different jurisdictions, as nicely and believes the South Carolina PSC ought to query their {qualifications}. They have supported a few Southern Company’s huge bets: the budget-doubled and over 5-year delayed Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion (in GA) plus the expensive, failed experiment with “clean coal” [sic] for Plant Kemper (in MS).

In the Georgia circumstance, for instance, Pegasus Global has been listed way back to the Vogtle Certification docket that started in 2008 and was authorised by the PSC in 2009. And they’ve been concerned as not too long ago because the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring docket (VCM17), when the troubled project confronted a “go, no-go” vote that the Commission approved in December 2017.

This is the agency that examined the engineering, procurement and development (EPC) contract for Plant Vogtle models 3 & 4. An excerpt under:

Based upon Pegasus-Global’s assessment of the EPC Agreement, assessment of the March 1987 impartial prudence assessment of Vogtle Units 1 and 2, evaluation of the evolution of the nuclear regulatory course of since completion of Vogtle Units 1 and 2, and its expertise with the U.S. nuclear business for the reason that early 1970s, Pegasus-Global has concluded that the Vogtle Units 3 and 4 EPC Agreement is a key factor in mitigating the potential for the price progress that Georgia Power and the opposite Co-owners skilled within the design, procurement and development of Vogtle Units 1 and 2. [emphasis added]

Well that EPC Agreement definitely did not mitigate the price-overruns and schedule delays. In truth, with the Westinghouse chapter, Southern Company has assumed the position themselves. Now greater than 5-years delayed and billions of {dollars} over-funds, the Georgia PSC staff has recently questioned even the rebaselined schedule.

This additionally will get towards the independence problem. Pegasus Global’s shopper listing (https://www.pegasus-global.com/our-firm/) is nearly solely main electrical utilities. The Energy Freedom Act, that handed unanimously in each chambers this 12 months, requires the PSC to rent…

a professional impartial third social gathering to submit a report that features the third social gathering’s independently derived conclusions as to that third social gathering’s opinion of every utility’s calculation of averted prices for functions of proceedings performed pursuant to this part.

As Brown factors out in his Post and Courier article, “Pegasus obtained not less than $3 million from Duke Energy in 2011 to defend the utility’s dealing with of a multibillion-greenback coal-gasification project in Indiana.” This was also flagged by Associated Press on the time.

There is adequate proof that Pegasus Global ought to be disqualified because the South Carolina PSC guide primarily based on each their lack of {qualifications} and independence for these essential proceedings that may have lasting affect on South Carolina’s energy sector.

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