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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 17, 2014

Title 18Chapter ISubchapter BPart 33 → §33.1


Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
PART 33—APPLICATIONS UNDER FEDERAL POWER ACT SECTION 203


§33.1   Applicability, definitions, and blanket authorizations.

(a) Applicability. (1) The requirements of this part will apply to any public utility seeking authorization under section 203 of the Federal Power Act to:

(i) Sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the whole of its facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, or any part thereof of a value in excess of $10 million;

(ii) Merge or consolidate, directly or indirectly, such facilities or any part thereof with those of any other person, by any means whatsoever;

(iii) Purchase, acquire, or take any security with a value in excess of $10 million of any other public utility; or

(iv) Purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire an existing generation facility:

(A) That has a value in excess of $10 million; and

(B) That is used in whole or in part for wholesale sales in interstate commerce by a public utility.

(2) The requirements of this part shall also apply to any holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility if such holding company seeks to purchase, acquire, or take any security with a value in excess of $10 million of, or, by any means whatsoever, directly or indirectly, merge or consolidate with, a transmitting utility, an electric utility company, or a holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility, or an electric utility company, with a value in excess of $10 million.

(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this part, as used in section 203 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824b).

(1) Existing generation facility means a generation facility that is operational at or before the time the section 203 transaction is consummated. “The time the transaction is consummated” means the point in time when the transaction actually closes and control of the facility changes hands. “Operational” means a generation facility for which construction is complete (i.e., it is capable of producing power). The Commission will rebuttably presume that section 203(a) applies to the transfer of any existing generation facility unless the utility can demonstrate with substantial evidence that the generator is used exclusively for retail sales.

(2) Non-utility associate company means any associate company in a holding company system other than a public utility or electric utility company that has wholesale or retail customers served under cost-based regulation.

(3) Value when applied to:

(i) Transmission facilities, generation facilities, transmitting utilities, electric utility companies, and holding companies, means the market value of the facilities or companies for transactions between non-affiliated companies; the Commission will rebuttably presume that the market value is the transaction price. For transactions between affiliated companies, value means original cost undepreciated, as defined in the Commission's Uniform System of Accounts prescribed for public utilities and licensees in part 101 of this chapter, or original book cost, as applicable;

(ii) Wholesale contracts, means the market value for transactions between non-affiliated companies; the Commission will rebuttably presume that the market value is the transaction price. For transactions between affiliated companies, value means total expected nominal contract revenues over the remaining life of the contract; and

(iii) Securities, means market value for transactions between non-affiliated companies; the Commission will rebuttably presume that the market value is the agreed-upon transaction price. For transactions between affiliated companies, value means market value if the securities are widely traded, in which case the Commission will rebuttably presume that market value is the market price at which the securities are being traded at the time the transaction occurs; if the securities are not widely traded, market value is determined by:

(A) Determining the value of the company that is the issuer of the equity securities based on the total undepreciated book value of the company's assets;

(B) Determining the fraction of the securities at issue by dividing the number of equity securities involved in the transaction by the total number of outstanding equity securities for the company; and

(C) Multiplying the value determined in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section by the value determined in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(B) of this section (i.e., the value of the company multiplied by the fraction of the equity securities at issue).

(4) The terms associate company, electric utility company, foreign utility company, holding company, and holding company system have the meaning given those terms in the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005. The term holding company does not include: A State, any political subdivision of a State, or any agency, authority or instrumentality of a State or political subdivision of a State; or an electric power cooperative.

(5) For purposes of this part, the term captive customers means any wholesale or retail electric energy customers served by a franchised public utility under cost-based regulation.

(c) Blanket Authorizations. (1) Any holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to purchase, acquire, or take any security of:

(i) A transmitting utility or company that owns, operates, or controls only facilities used solely for transmission in intrastate commerce and/or sales of electric energy in intrastate commerce, provided that if any public utility within the holding company system has captive customers, or owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, the holding company must report the acquisition to the Commission, including any state actions or conditions related to the transaction, and shall provide an explanation of why the transaction does not result in cross-subsidization;

(ii) A transmitting utility or company that owns, operates, or controls only facilities used solely for local distribution and/or sales of electric energy at retail regulated by a state commission, provided that if any public utility within the holding company system has captive customers, or owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, the holding company must report the acquisition to the Commission, including any state actions or conditions related to the transaction, and shall provide an explanation of why the transaction does not result in cross-subsidization; or

(iii) An electric utility company that owns generating facilities that total 100 MW or less and are fundamentally used for its own individual load or for sales to affiliated end-users.

(2) Any holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to purchase, acquire, or take:

(i) Any non-voting security (that does not convey sufficient veto rights over management actions so as to convey control) in a transmitting utility, an electric utility company, or a holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility company; or

(ii) Any voting security in a transmitting utility, an electric utility company, or a holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility company if, after the acquisition, the holding company will own less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities; or

(iii) Any security of a subsidiary company within the holding company system.

(3) The blanket authorizations granted under paragraph (c)(2) of this section are subject to the conditions that the holding company shall not:

(i) Borrow from any electric utility company subsidiary in connection with such acquisition; or

(ii) Pledge or encumber the assets of any electric utility company subsidiary in connection with such acquisition.

(4) A holding company granted blanket authorizations in paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall provide the Commission copies of any Schedule 13D, Schedule 13G and Form 13F, at the same time and on the same basis, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with any securities purchased, acquired or taken pursuant to this section.

(5) Any holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to acquire a foreign utility company. However, if such holding company or any of its affiliates, its subsidiaries, or associate companies within the holding company system has captive customers in the United States, or owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities in the United States, the authorization is conditioned on the holding company, consistent with 18 CFR 385.2005(b), verifying by a duly authorized corporate official of the holding company that the proposed transaction:

(i) Will not have any adverse effect on competition, rates, or regulation; and

(ii) Will not result in, at the time of the transaction or in the future:

(A) Any transfer of facilities between a traditional public utility associate company that has captive customers or that owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, and an associate company;

(B) Any new issuance of securities by a traditional public utility associate company that has captive customers or that owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, for the benefit of an associate company;

(C) Any new pledge or encumbrance of assets of a traditional public utility associate company that has captive customers or that owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, for the benefit of an associate company; or

(D) Any new affiliate contracts between a non-utility associate company and a traditional public utility associate company that has captive customers or that owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, other than non-power goods and services agreements subject to review under sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act.

(iii) A transaction by a holding company subject to the conditions in paragraphs (c)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section will be deemed approved only upon filing the information required in paragraphs (c)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(6) Any public utility or any holding company in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility is granted a blanket authorization under sections 203(a)(1) or 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act, as relevant, for internal corporate reorganizations that do not result in the reorganization of a traditional public utility that has captive customers or that owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, and that do not present cross-subsidization issues.

(7) Any public utility in a holding company system that includes a transmitting utility or an electric utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to purchase, acquire, or take any security of a public utility in connection with an intra-system cash management program, subject to safeguards to prevent cross-subsidization or pledges or encumbrances of utility assets.

(8) A person that is a holding company solely with respect to one or more exempt wholesale generators (EWGs), foreign utility companies (FUCOs), or qualifying facilities (QFs) is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to acquire the securities of additional EWGs, FUCOs, or QFs.

(9) A holding company, or a subsidiary of that company, that is regulated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank or by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 as amended by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to acquire and hold an unlimited amount of the securities of holding companies that include a transmitting utility or an electric utility company if such acquisitions and holdings are in the normal course of its business and the securities are held:

(i) As a fiduciary;

(ii) As principal for derivatives hedging purposes incidental to the business of banking and it commits not to vote such securities to the extent they exceed 10 percent of the outstanding shares;

(iii) As collateral for a loan; or

(iv) Solely for purposes of liquidation and in connection with a loan previously contracted for and owned beneficially for a period of not more than two years, with the following conditions and reporting requirement: The holding does not confer a right to control, positively or negatively, through debt covenants or any other means, the operation or management of the public utility or public utility holding company, except as to customary creditors' rights or as provided under the United States Bankruptcy Code; and the parent holding company files with the Commission on a public basis and within 45 days of the close of each calendar quarter, both its total holdings and its holdings as principal, each by class, unless the holdings within a class are less than one percent of outstanding shares, irrespective of the capacity in which they were held.

(10) Any holding company, or a subsidiary of that company, is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act to acquire any security of a public utility or a holding company that includes a public utility:

(i) For purposes of conducting underwriting activities, subject to the condition that holdings that the holding company or its subsidiary are unable to sell or otherwise dispose of within 45 days are to be treated as holdings as principal and thus subject to a limitation of 10 percent of the stock of any class unless the holding company or its subsidiary has within that period filed an application under section 203 of the Federal Power Act to retain the securities and has undertaken not to vote the securities during the pendency of such application; and the parent holding company files with the Commission on a public basis and within 45 days of the close of each calendar quarter, both its total holdings and its holdings as principal, each by class, unless the holdings within a class are less than one percent of outstanding shares, irrespective of the capacity in which they were held;

(ii) For purposes of engaging in hedging transactions, subject to the condition that if such holdings are 10 percent or more of the voting securities of a given class, the holding company or its subsidiary shall not vote such holdings to the extent that they are 10 percent or more.

(11) Any public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer a wholesale market-based rate contract to any other public utility affiliate that has the same ultimate upstream ownership, provided that neither affiliate is affiliated with a traditional public utility with captive customers.

(12) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer its outstanding voting securities to:

(i) Any holding company granted blanket authorizations in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section if, after the transfer, the holding company and any of its associate or affiliate companies in aggregate will own less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting interests of such public utility; or

(ii) Any person other than a holding company if, after the transfer, such person and any of its associate or affiliate companies in aggregate will own less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting interests of such public utility, and within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which such transfer has occurred the public utility notifies the Commission in accordance with paragraph (c)(17) of this section.

(13) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer its outstanding voting securities to any holding company granted blanket authorization in paragraph (c)(8) of this section if, after the transfer, the holding company and any of its associate or affiliate companies in aggregate will own less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting interests of such public utility.

(14) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer its outstanding voting securities to any holding company granted blanket authorization in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.

(15) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer its outstanding voting securities to any holding company granted blanket authorization in paragraph (c)(10) of this section.

(16) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act for the acquisition or disposition of a jurisdictional contract where neither the acquirer nor transferor has captive customers or owns or provides transmission service over jurisdictional transmission facilities, the contract does not convey control over the operation of a generation or transmission facility, and the acquirer is a public utility.

(17) A public utility granted blanket authorization under paragraph (c)(12)(ii) of this section to transfer its outstanding voting securities shall, within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which such transfer has occurred, file with the Commission a report containing the following information:

(i) The names of all parties to the transaction;

(ii) Identification of the pre- and post-transaction voting security holdings (and percentage ownership) in the public utility held by the acquirer and its associate or affilate companies;

(iii) The date the transaction was consummated;

(iv) Identification of any public utility or holding company affiliates of the parties to the transaction; and

(v) A statement indicating that the proposed transaction will not result in, at the time of the transaction or in the future, cross-subsidization of a non-utility associate company or pledge or encumbrance of utility assets for the benefit of an associate company as required in §33.2(j)(1).

[Order 669-A, 71 FR 28443, May 16, 2006, as amended by Order 708, 73 FR 11013, Feb. 29, 2008; Order 708-A, 73 FR 43072, July 24, 2008; Order 708-B, 74 FR 25413, May 28, 2009]



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