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PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (01/27/83)

decided: January 27, 1983.

PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of In Re: Limerick Nuclear Generating Station Investigation, Docket No. I-80100341.

COUNSEL

Robert H. Young, with him Walter R. Hall, II, Michael G. Nearing and John B. Wright, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, of counsel: Edward G. Bauer, Jr., and Irene A. McKenna, for petitioner.

Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, with him Daniel P. Delaney, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Louis G. Cocheres, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Walter W. Cohen, Consumer Advocate, with him Martha W. Bush, Irwin A. Popowsky, David Wersan, and Robert P. Haynes, III, Assistant Consumer Advocates, for intervenor, Consumer Advocate.

Bernard N. Katz, with him Michael N. Katz, Meranze, Katz, Spear & Wilderman, for Amicus Curiae, Building and Construction Trades Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Craig and Doyle. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Rogers concurs in the result only.

Author: Crumlish

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 425]

The Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO or Company) appeals an August 27, 1982 order of the Public Utility Commission (PUC or Commission) which in part required PECO to notify the Commission of the Company's decision either to suspend or cancel construction at the Limerick Unit 2 Nuclear Generating Plant. This Opinion is in support of the

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 426]

Per Curiam Order of this Court, dated December 16, 1982, which reversed those portions of the appealed order.*fn1

Procedural History

In August 1980, the Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate filed*fn2 a petition requesting the PUC to investigate the need for and the fiscal wisdom of the construction of the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station.*fn3 By its

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

    order entered October 10, 1980, the Commission initiated a fact finding investigation and, at its conclusion, following eleven months of explorative discovery and hearings,*fn4 Administrative Law Judge Joseph J. Klovekorn (ALJ) issued his Initial Decision,*fn5 reporting that:

After reviewing the extensive record in this proceeding, I can come to but one conclusion -- that at the present time there is no alternative available that can replace Limerick at a lower cost to the consumer. The record shows that the timely completion of Limerick Units I and II is in the best interest of PECO and its ratepayers. Since the generation produced at Limerick will replace expensive oil-fired generation either produced by the company itself or purchased from the PJM system, these plants must be brought on line as soon as possible.

It is essential, therefore, that this project be completed as close to the 1985/1987 projected commercial operation dates as possible, and as close to the company's projected costs as possible. . . .

All parties filed exceptions to his Initial Decision. The PUC resolved these exceptions in its August 27, 1982 order, rejecting, in part, the ALJ's recommendations. The order, in pertinent part, provides:

IT IS ORDERED:

1. That the Philadelphia Electric Company inform us of its decision to suspend or cancel

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 428]

    construction at Limerick Unit 2, in light of the conclusions of this Opinion and Order, within 120 days of the entry of this Opinion and ...


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