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Court Sides with Dauphin County Authority in Utility Rate Dispute

The Commonwealth Court recently ruled in favor of the Dauphin County Authority who is seeking to have PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, pay a higher rate for the energy the Authority generates at its solar farm.

In 2013, the Authority asked PPL to increase the rate they pay for the Authority’s surplus energy from 8.4 cents per kilo-watt hour to almost 13.4 cents.  The PUC, however, informed the Authority that they had to stay with the rates PPL had already set or find another supplier if they wanted a higher rate.

According to the Authority’s executive director, August “Skip” Memmi, the impetus behind the request for the rate increase was so that they could pay back the debt they incurred on the solar farm quicker.  By paying back the loans it incurred on the $2.5 million solar farm, the higher rate “would allow us to get to a point where we’re actually making money and then using it for other projects,” Memmi said.

According to spokesmen for both the PUC and PPL, the companies are reviewing the decision.