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FERC APPROVES CONSUMERS POWER'S OPEN-ACCESS TRANSMISSION TARIFF, ORDERS HEARING ON RATES

 FERC APPROVES CONSUMERS POWER'S OPEN-ACCESS TRANSMISSION TARIFF,
 ORDERS HEARING ON RATES
 JACKSON, Mich., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Power Company announced today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted a new open-access electric transmission tariff and coordinated operating agreement that make the utility's transmission system one of the most accessible in the nation. In accepting the tariff, the Commission rejected arguments by the Michigan Municipal Cooperative Group (MMCG) and others who argued that Consumers Power's existing and proposed transmission services were improper and discriminatory.
 Specifically, the FERC:
 -- Accepted the proposed Consumers Power open-access transmission tariff for filing and allows it to become effective May 2, 1992, subject to refund. It also set a hearing to determine the appropriate level of transmission rates.
 -- Accepted the company's coordinated operating agreement filing and allows it to become effective when service begins for the MMCG, subject to a hearing.
 -- Denied MMCG's request for an order requiring Consumers Power to sell interests in its transmission system or to provide the MMCG equivalent transmission rate by finding that such authority is beyond the scope of the Federal Power Act.
 -- Ruled that the MMCG's arguments relating to the Midland Cogeneration Venture and the Palisades nuclear plant as well as certain other issues before the Michigan Public Service Commission and federal and state courts are irrelevant to this case.
 The tariff and agreement were proposed by Consumers Power to set prices and procedures for the use of the company's electric transmission system by wholesale power suppliers, including other investor-owned utilities, municipal or cooperative utilities, independent power producers, and "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. Although other utilities have been permitted access to the company's electric system for many years, the new state- of-the-art tariff and operating agreement increase the accessibility of the utility's system to outside users. For example, they will permit municipal and cooperative utilities within Michigan to use the utility's transmission system to create their own power pool.
 "Today's action is a major benefit to all power producers and consumers in Michigan," said Michael G. Morris, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Consumers Power. "It enables us to provide the services of our electric transmission system to other power producers at a fair price to all. Moreover, Consumers Power believes that the FERC's rulings and order finally put its long-standing transmission dispute with the MMCG on the road to resolution."
 The new approved program includes three classifications of firm transmission service: point-to-point, network transmission service and joint ownership voltage differential transmission service. It also commits Consumers Power to expand its transmission service for third parties under certain conditions.
 Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), is Michigan's largest natural gas and electric utility serving almost 6 million of the state's 9 million residents in 67 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
 -0- 5/1/92
 /CONTACT: Charles E. MacInnis, News and Information, Consumers Power Company, 517-788-0333/
 (CMS) CO: Consumers Power Company; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
 CMS Energy Corporation ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:


SM -- DE027 -- 5547 05/01/92 14:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:517
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