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(220 ILCS 5/8-406.1)
Certificate of public convenience and necessity; expedited procedure.
(a) A public utility may apply for a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to this Section for the construction of any new high voltage electric service line and related facilities (Project). To facilitate the expedited review process of an application filed pursuant to this Section, an application shall include all of the following:
(1) Information in support of the application that
shall include the following:
(A) A detailed description of the Project,
including location maps and plot plans to scale showing all major components.
(B) The following engineering data:
(i) a detailed Project description including:
(I) name and destination of the Project;
(II) design voltage rating (kV);
(III) operating voltage rating (kV); and
(IV) normal peak operating current rating;
(ii) a conductor, structures, and substations
(I) conductor size and type;
(II) type of structures;
(III) height of typical structures;
(IV) an explanation why these structures
(V) dimensional drawings of the typical
structures to be used in the Project; and
(VI) a list of the names of all new (and
existing if applicable) substations or switching stations that will be associated with the proposed new high voltage electric service line;
(iii) the location of the site and
(I) miles of right-of-way;
(II) miles of circuit;
(III) width of the right-of-way; and
(IV) a brief description of the area
traversed by the proposed high voltage electric service line, including a description of the general land uses in the area and the type of terrain crossed by the proposed line;
(iv) assumptions, bases, formulae, and
methods used in the development and preparation of the diagrams and accompanying data, and a technical description providing the following information:
(I) number of circuits, with
identification as to whether the circuit is overhead or underground;
(II) the operating voltage and frequency;
(III) conductor size and type and number
(v) if the proposed interconnection is an
overhead line, the following additional information also must be provided:
(I) the wind and ice loading design
(II) a full description and drawing of a
typical supporting structure, including strength specifications;
(III) structure spacing with typical
ruling and maximum spans;
(IV) conductor (phase) spacing; and
(V) the designed line-to-ground and
(vi) if an underground or underwater
interconnection is proposed, the following additional information also must be provided:
(I) burial depth;
(II) type of cable and a description of
any required supporting equipment, such as insulation medium pressurizing or forced cooling;
(III) cathodic protection scheme; and
(IV) type of dielectric fluid and
safeguards used to limit potential spills in waterways;
(vii) technical diagrams that provide
clarification of any item under this item (1) should be included; and
(viii) applicant shall provide and identify a
primary right-of-way and one or more alternate rights-of-way for the Project as part of the filing. To the extent applicable, for each right-of-way, an applicant shall provide the information described in this subsection (a). Upon a showing of good cause in its filing, an applicant may be excused from providing and identifying alternate rights-of-way.
(2) An application fee of $100,000, which shall be
paid into the Public Utility Fund at the time the Chief Clerk of the Commission deems it complete and accepts the filing.
(3) Information showing that the utility has held a
minimum of 3 pre-filing public meetings to receive public comment concerning the Project in each county where the Project is to be located, no earlier than 6 months prior to the filing of the application. Notice of the public meeting shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the affected county once a week for 3 consecutive weeks, beginning no earlier than one month prior to the first public meeting. If the Project traverses 2 contiguous counties and where in one county the transmission line mileage and number of landowners over whose property the proposed route traverses is 1/5 or less of the transmission line mileage and number of such landowners of the other county, then the utility may combine the 3 pre-filing meetings in the county with the greater transmission line mileage and affected landowners. All other requirements regarding pre-filing meetings shall apply in both counties. Notice of the public meeting, including a description of the Project, must be provided in writing to the clerk of each county where the Project is to be located. A representative of the Commission shall be invited to each pre-filing public meeting.
For applications filed after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly, the Commission shall, by certified mail, notify each owner of record of the land, as identified in the records of the relevant county tax assessor, included in the primary or alternate rights-of-way identified in the utility's application of the time and place scheduled for the initial hearing upon the public utility's application. The utility shall reimburse the Commission for the cost of the postage and supplies incurred for mailing the notice.
(b) At the first status hearing the administrative law judge shall set a schedule for discovery that shall take into consideration the expedited nature of the proceeding.
(c) Nothing in this Section prohibits a utility from requesting, or the Commission from approving, protection of confidential or proprietary information under applicable law. The public utility may seek confidential protection of any of the information provided pursuant to this Section, subject to Commission approval.
(d) The public utility shall publish notice of its application in the official State newspaper within 10 days following the date of the application's filing.
(e) The public utility shall establish a dedicated website for the Project 3 weeks prior to the first public meeting and maintain the website until construction of the Project is complete. The website address shall be included in all public notices.
(f) The Commission shall, after notice and hearing, grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity filed in accordance with the requirements of this Section if, based upon the application filed with the Commission and the evidentiary record, it finds the Project will promote the public convenience and necessity and that all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) That the Project is necessary to provide
adequate, reliable, and efficient service to the public utility's customers and is the least-cost means of satisfying the service needs of the public utility's customers or that the Project will promote the development of an effectively competitive electricity market that operates efficiently, is equitable to all customers, and is the least cost means of satisfying those objectives.
(2) That the public utility is capable of efficiently
managing and supervising the construction process and has taken sufficient action to ensure adequate and efficient construction and supervision of the construction.
(3) That the public utility is capable of financing
the proposed construction without significant adverse financial consequences for the utility or its customers.
(g) The Commission shall issue its decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law granting or denying the application no later than 150 days after the application is filed. The Commission may extend the 150-day deadline upon notice by an additional 75 days if, on or before the 30th day after the filing of the application, the Commission finds that good cause exists to extend the 150-day period.
(h) In the event the Commission grants a public utility's application for a certificate pursuant to this Section, the public utility shall pay a one-time construction fee to each county in which the Project is constructed within 30 days after the completion of construction. The construction fee shall be $20,000 per mile of high voltage electric service line constructed in that county, or a proportionate fraction of that fee. The fee shall be in lieu of any permitting fees that otherwise would be imposed by a county. Counties receiving a payment under this subsection (h) may distribute all or portions of the fee to local taxing districts in that county.
(i) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, a decision granting a certificate under this Section shall include an order pursuant to Section 8-503 of this Act authorizing or directing the construction of the high voltage electric service line and related facilities as approved by the Commission, in the manner and within the time specified in said order.
(Source: P.A. 102-931, eff. 5-27-22.)