PRESS RELEASE FROM PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF SOUTH CAROLINA

PSC of SC Seeking Consultants In Avoided Costs Dockets

Posted May 26, 2021

The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC of SC) has issued a request for proposals in three dockets (Dockets No. 2021-88-E, 2021-89-E, and 2021-90-E) involving avoided cost proceedings pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 58-41-20 (A).

S.C. Code Ann. Section 58-41-20 (A) states that “[t]he commission is authorized to employ, through contract or otherwise, third-party consultants and experts in carrying out its duties under this section, including, but not limited to, evaluating avoided cost rates, methodologies, terms, calculations, and conditions under this section. The commission is exempt from complying with the State Procurement Code in the selection and hiring of a third-party consultant or expert authorized by this subsection. The commission shall engage, for each utility, a qualified independent third party to submit a report that includes the third party's independently derived conclusions as to that third party's opinion of each utility's calculation of avoided costs for purposes of proceedings conducted pursuant to this section. The qualified independent third party is subject to the same ex parte prohibitions contained in Chapter 3, Title 58 as all other parties. The qualified independent third party shall submit all requests for documents and information necessary to their analysis under the authority of the commission and the commission shall have full authority to compel response to the requests. The qualified independent third party's duty will be to the commission. Any conclusions based on the evidence in the record and included in the report are intended to be used by the commission along with all other evidence submitted during the proceeding to inform its ultimate decision setting the avoided costs for each electrical utility. The utilities may require confidentiality agreements with the independent third party that do not impede the third-party analysis. The utilities shall be responsive in providing all documents, information, and items necessary for the completion of the report. The independent third party shall also include in the report a statement assessing the level of cooperation received from the utility during the development of the report and whether there were any material information requests that were not adequately fulfilled by the electrical utility. Any party to this proceeding shall be able to review the report including the confidential portions of the report upon entering into an appropriate confidentiality agreement. The commission and the Office of Regulatory Staff may not hire the same third-party consultant or expert in the same proceeding or to address the same or similar issues in different proceedings.”

Following their Commission Business Meeting of May 19th, the agency issued a directive outlining details of the RFP, which was posted on May 24th in order to comply with this regulation. Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit their proposal by June 3rd, at which point the Commission will review all received proposals and provide updates at their weekly Commission Business Meetings, which are scheduled for each Wednesday at 11 a.m., barring conflicts.

Per the Commission, the agency “could elect to award a contract(s) for one or more of the Dockets listed above to more than one qualified, independent third party consultant or expert…[or]…the Commissioners could award a contract(s) for all three Dockets combined to one qualified, independent third party consultant or expert.” All such qualified consultants may apply by visiting www.procurement.sc.gov.

Once the contract has been awarded, details will be posted to the state’s procurement site and shared on the Commission’s website and to the agency’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more information about this opportunity, please contact the Commission at 803.896.5100 or email [email protected].