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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1710 → Subpart E


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1710—GENERAL AND PRE-LOAN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES COMMON TO ELECTRIC LOANS AND GUARANTEES


Subpart E—Load Forecasts


Contents
§1710.200   Purpose.
§1710.201   General.
§1710.202   Requirement to prepare a load forecast—power supply borrowers.
§1710.203   Requirement to prepare a load forecast—distribution borrowers.
§1710.204   [Reserved]
§1710.205   Minimum requirements for all load forecasts.
§1710.206   Requirements for load forecasts prepared pursuant to a load forecast work plan.
§1710.207   RUS criteria for load forecasts by distribution borrowers.
§1710.208   RUS criteria for load forecasts by power supply borrowers and by distribution borrowers.
§1710.209   Requirements for load forecast work plans.
§1710.210   Waiver of requirements or approval criteria.
§§1710.211-1710.249   [Reserved]

Source: 65 FR 14786, Mar. 20, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

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§1710.200   Purpose.

This subpart contains RUS policies for the preparation, review, approval and use of load forecasts and load forecast work plans. A load forecast is a thorough study of a borrower's electric loads and the factors that affect those loads in order to estimate, as accurately as practicable, the borrower's future requirements for energy and capacity. The load forecast of a power supply borrower includes and integrates the load forecasts of its member systems. An approved load forecast, if required by this subpart, is one of the primary documents that a borrower is required to submit to support a loan application.

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§1710.201   General.

(a) The policies, procedures and requirements in this subpart are intended to implement provisions of the loan documents between RUS and the electric borrowers and are also necessary to support approval by RUS of requests for financial assistance.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subpart, RUS may require any power supply or distribution borrower to prepare a new or updated load forecast for RUS approval or to maintain an approved load forecast on an ongoing basis, if such documentation is necessary for RUS to determine loan feasibility, or to ensure compliance under the loan documents.

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§1710.202   Requirement to prepare a load forecast—power supply borrowers.

(a) A power supply borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide a load forecast in support of any request for RUS financial assistance. The borrower must also maintain a load forecast work plan on file. The borrower's load forecast must be prepared pursuant to the load forecast work plan.

(b) A power supply borrower that is a member of another power supply borrower that has a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide an approved load forecast in support of any request for RUS financial assistance. The member power supply borrower may comply with this requirement by participation in and inclusion of its load forecasting information in the load forecast of its power supply borrower. The load forecasts must be prepared pursuant to the load forecast work plan.

(c) A power supply borrower that has total utility plant of less than $500 million and that is not a member of another power supply borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide a load forecast that meets the requirements of this subpart in support of an application for any RUS loan or loan guarantee which exceeds $50 million.

[84 FR 32610, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.203   Requirement to prepare a load forecast—distribution borrowers.

(a) A distribution borrower that is a member of a power supply borrower, with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide a load forecast in support of any request for RUS financial assistance. The distribution borrower may comply with this requirement by participation in and inclusion of its load forecasting information in the approved load forecast of its power supply borrower. The distribution borrower's load forecast must be prepared pursuant to the load forecast work plan of its power supply borrower.

(b) A distribution borrower that is a member of a power supply borrower which is itself a member of another power supply borrower that has a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide a load forecast in support of any request for RUS financial assistance. The distribution borrower may comply with this requirement by participation in and inclusion of its load forecasting information in the load forecast of its power supply borrower. The distribution borrower's load forecast must be prepared pursuant to the load forecast work plan of the power supply borrower with total utility plant in excess of $500 million.

(c) A distribution borrower that is a member of a power supply borrower with a total utility plant of less than $500 million must provide a load forecast that meets the requirements of this subpart in support of an application for any RUS loan or loan guarantee that exceeds $3 million or 5 percent of total utility plant, whichever is greater. The distribution borrower may comply with this requirement by participation in and inclusion of its load forecasting information in the load forecast of its power supply borrower.

(d) A distribution borrower with a total utility plant of less than $500 million and that is unaffiliated with a power supply borrower must provide a load forecast that meets the requirements of this subpart in support of an application for any RUS loan or loan guarantee which exceeds $3 million or 5 percent of total utility plant, whichever is greater.

(e) A distribution borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must provide a load forecast in support of any request for RUS financing assistance. The borrower must also maintain a load forecast work plan. The distribution borrower may comply with this requirement by participation in and inclusion of its load forecasting information in the load forecast of its power supply borrower.

[84 FR 32610, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.204   [Reserved]

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§1710.205   Minimum requirements for all load forecasts.

(a) Contents of load forecast. All load forecasts submitted by borrowers for approval must include:

(1) A narrative describing the borrower's system, service territory, and consumers;

(2) A narrative description of the borrower's load forecast including future load projections, forecast assumptions, and the methods and procedures used to develop the forecast;

(3) Projections of usage by consumer class, number of consumers by class, annual system peak demand, and season of peak demand for the number of years agreed upon by RUS and the borrower;

(4) A summary of the year-by-year results of the load forecast in a format that allows efficient transfer of the information to other borrower planning or loan support documents;

(5) The load impacts of a borrower's demand side management and energy efficiency and conservation program activities, if applicable;

(6) Graphic representations of the variables specifically identified by management as influencing a borrower's loads; and

(7) A database that tracks all relevant variables that might influence a borrower's loads.

(b) Formats. RUS does not require a specific format for the narrative, documentation, data, and other information in the load forecast, provided that all required information is included and available. All data must be in a tabular form that can be transferred electronically to RUS computer software applications. RUS will evaluate borrower load forecasts for readability, understanding, filing, and electronic access. If a borrower's load forecast is submitted in a format that is not readily usable by RUS or is incomplete, RUS will require the borrower to submit the load forecast in a format acceptable to RUS.

(c) Document retention. The borrower must retain its latest load forecasts and supporting documentation. Any load forecast work plan must be retained as part of the load forecast.

(d) Consultation with RUS. The borrower must designate and make appropriate staff and consultants available for consultation with RUS to facilitate RUS review of the load forecast when requested by RUS.

(e) Correlation and consistency with other RUS loan support documents. If a borrower relies on an approved load forecast or an update of an approved load forecast as loan support, the borrower must demonstrate that the approved load forecast and the other primary support documentation for the loan were reconciled. For example, both the load forecast and the financial forecast require input assumptions for wholesale power costs, distribution costs, other systems costs, average revenue per kWh, and inflation. Also, a borrower's engineering planning documents, such as the construction work plan, incorporate consumer and usage per consumer projections from the load forecast to develop system design criteria. The assumptions and data common to all the documents must be consistent.

(f) Coordination. A load forecast of a power supply borrower must consider the load forecasts of all its member systems.

[84 FR 32610, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.206   Requirements for load forecasts prepared pursuant to a load forecast work plan.

(a) Contents of load forecasts prepared under a load forecast work plan. In addition to the minimum requirements for load forecasts under §1710.205, load forecasts developed and submitted by borrowers required to have a load forecast work plan shall include the following:

(1) Scope of the load forecast. The narrative shall address the overall approach, time periods, and expected internal and external uses of the forecast. Examples of internal uses include providing information for developing or monitoring demand side management programs, supply resource planning, load flow studies, wholesale power marketing, retail marketing, cost of service studies, rate policy and development, financial planning, and evaluating the potential effects on electric revenues caused by competition from alternative energy sources or other electric suppliers. Examples of external uses include meeting state and Federal regulatory requirements, obtaining financial ratings, and participation in reliability council, power pool, regional transmission group, power supplier or member system forecasting and planning activities.

(2) Resources used to develop the load forecast. The discussion shall identify and discuss the borrower personnel, consultants, data processing, methods and other resources used in the preparation of the load forecast. The borrower shall identify the borrower's member and, as applicable, member personnel that will serve as project leaders or liaisons with the authority to make decisions and commit resources within the scope of the current and future work plans.

(3) A comprehensive description of the database used in the study. The narrative shall describe the procedures used to collect, develop, verify, validate, update, and maintain the data. A data dictionary thoroughly defining the database shall be included. The borrower shall make all or parts of the database available or otherwise accessible to RUS in electronic format, if requested.

(4) A narrative for each new load forecast or update of a load forecast discussing the methods and procedures used in the analysis and modeling of the borrower's electric system loads as provided for in the load forecast work plan.

(5) A narrative discussing the borrower's past, existing, and forecast of future electric system loads. The narrative must identify and explain substantive assumptions and other pertinent information used to support the estimates presented in the load forecast.

(6) A narrative discussing load forecast uncertainty or alternative futures that may determine the borrower's actual loads. Examples of economic scenarios, weather conditions, and other uncertainties that borrowers may decide to address in their analysis include:

(i) Most-probable assumptions, with normal weather;

(ii) Pessimistic assumptions, with normal weather;

(iii) Optimistic assumptions, with normal weather;

(iv) Most-probable assumptions, with severe weather;

(v) Most-probable assumptions, with mild weather;

(vi) Impacts of wholesale or retail competition; or

(vii) new environmental requirements.

(7) A summary of the forecast's results on an annual basis. Include alternative futures, as applicable. This summary shall be designed to accommodate the transfer of load forecast information to a borrower's other planning or loan support documents. Computer-generated forms or electronic submissions of data are acceptable. Graphs, tables, spreadsheets or other exhibits shall be included throughout the forecast as appropriate.

(8) A narrative discussing the coordination activities conducted between a power supply borrower and its members, as applicable, and between the borrower and RUS.

(b) Compliance with a load forecast work plan. A borrower required to maintain a load forecast work plan must also be able to demonstrate that both it and its RUS borrower members are in compliance with its load forecast work plan.

[65 FR 14786, Mar. 20, 2000, as amended at 84 FR 32611, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.207   RUS criteria for load forecasts by distribution borrowers.

Load forecasts submitted by distribution borrowers that are unaffiliated with a power supply borrower, or by distribution borrowers that are members of a power supply borrower that has a total utility plant less than $500 million and that is not itself a member of another power supply borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must satisfy the following minimum criteria:

(a) The borrower considered all known relevant factors that influence the consumption of electricity and the known number of consumers served at the time the study was developed;

(b) The borrower considered and identified all loads on its system of RE Act beneficiaries and non-RE Act beneficiaries;

(c) The borrower developed an adequate supporting data base and considered a range of relevant assumptions; and

(d) The borrower provided RUS with adequate documentation and assistance to allow for a thorough and independent review.

[65 FR 14786, Mar. 20, 2000, as amended at 84 FR 32611, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.208   RUS criteria for load forecasts by power supply borrowers and by distribution borrowers.

All load forecasts submitted by power supply borrowers and by distribution borrowers must satisfy the following criteria:

(a) The borrower objectively analyzed all known relevant factors that influence the consumption of electricity and the known number of customers served at the time the study was developed;

(b) The borrower considered and identified all loads on its system of RE Act beneficiaries and non-RE Act beneficiaries;

(c) The borrower developed an adequate supporting database and analyzed a reasonable range of relevant assumptions and alternative futures;

(d) The borrower adopted methods and procedures in general use by the electric utility industry to develop its load forecast;

(e) The borrower used valid and verifiable analytical techniques and models;

(f) The borrower provided RUS with adequate documentation and assistance to allow for a thorough and independent review; and

[65 FR 14786, Mar. 20, 2000, as amended at 84 FR 32611, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.209   Requirements for load forecast work plans.

(a) In addition to the load forecast required under §§1710.202 and 1710.203, any power supply borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more and any distribution borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must maintain a load forecast work plan. RUS borrowers that are members of a power supply borrower with a total utility plant of $500 million or more must cooperate in the preparation of and submittal of the load forecast work plan of their power supply borrower.

(b) A load forecast work plan establishes the process for the preparation and maintenance of a comprehensive database for the development of the borrower's load forecast, and load forecast updates. The load forecast work plan is intended to develop and maintain a process that will result in load forecasts that will meet the borrowers' own needs and the requirements of this subpart. A work plan represents a commitment by a power supply borrower and its members, or by a large unaffiliated distribution borrower, that all parties concerned will prepare their load forecasts in a timely manner pursuant to the load forecast work plan and they will modify the load forecast work plan as needed to address changing circumstances or enhance the usefulness of the load forecast work plan.

(c) A load forecast work plan for a power supply borrower and its members must cover all member systems, including those that are not borrowers. However, only members that are borrowers, including the power supply borrower, are required to follow the load forecast work plan in preparing their respective load forecasts. Each borrower is individually responsible for forecasting all its RE Act beneficiary and non-RE Act beneficiary loads.

(d) A load forecast work plan must outline the coordination and preparation requirements for both the power supply borrower and its members.

(e) A load forecast work plan must describe the borrower's process and methods to be used in producing the load forecast.

(f) Load forecast work plans for borrowers with residential demand of 50 percent or more of total kWh must provide for a residential consumer survey at least every 5 years to obtain data on appliance and equipment saturation and electricity demand. Any such borrower that is experiencing or anticipates changes in usage patterns shall consider surveys on a more frequent schedule. Power supply borrowers shall coordinate such surveys with their members. Residential consumer surveys may be based on the aggregation of member-based samples or on a system-wide sample, provided that the latter provides for relevant regional breakdowns as appropriate.

(g) Load forecast work plans must provide for RUS review of the load forecasts as the load forecast is being developed.

(h) A power supply borrower's work plan must have the concurrence of the majority of the members that are borrowers.

[84 FR 32611, July 9, 2019]

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§1710.210   Waiver of requirements or approval criteria.

For good cause shown by the borrower, the Administrator may waive any of the requirements applicable to borrowers in this subpart if the Administrator determines that waiving the requirement will not significantly affect accomplishment of RUS' objectives and if the requirement imposes a substantial burden on the borrower. The borrower's general manager must request the waiver in writing.

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§§1710.211-1710.249   [Reserved]

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