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Minutes for SB339 - Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications

Short Title

Allowing the state corporation commission to approve certain electric contract rates and associated cost recovery from all rate classes.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 10, 2020

Chairperson Seiwert opened the hearing on SB339 at 9:32 am.

Nick Myers, Revisor's office, provided an overview of the bill and stood for questions.  The committee asked questions regarding the description of a facility, types of rates and rate determination. Chairperson Seiwert suggested the conferees might better respond to these types of questions. (Attachment 13)

Chuck Caisley, Evergy indicated he had submitted written testimony, (Attachment 14) but he spoke to a handout, (Attachment 15) which gave an example of how the bill works.  Other states have economic development rates but Evergy has not been able to offer economic development rates in Kansas. Mr. Caisley responded to questions about the impact on customers if a large facility leaves and how to prevent competition among neighboring states; whether data from other states is available; whether it is possible to prevent an incumbent company from experiencing loss if a new company is benefiting from an economic development rate; whether the rate discount is effected by Evergy's Southwest Power Pool (SPP) use; and whether biennial reporting was necessary.

Sean Khurana from Cavern Technologies spoke representing the needs of data centers that support large data customers who are high energy users. Mr. Khurana stated cost considerations have changed over time and this concern is a nationwide issue. Mr. Khurana stated companies consider the total cost of ownership, including many considerations, and utility cost is perhaps their second most important cost. Data centers represent a significant source of job opportunities throughout Kansas and electric rate incentives could make a big difference in their ability to be competitive. (Attachment 16)

Chairperson Seiwert extended the hearing on SB339  to be continued on Thursday, March 12.

Chairperson Seiwert adjourned the meeting at 10:30 am.