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News Release
Commission Denies Central Lincoln PUD Territory Request
January 4, 1999 (1999 - 001)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Commission Chair, 503 378-6611; Jack Williams, Senior Utility Analyst, 503 378-3217; Ron Karten, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Order No. 98-546
Docket UA 58/UA 60
Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) has ruled that the Central Lincoln Public Utility District (PUD) does not have an exclusive territory. The Commission cited an existing contract within the PUD’s geographic boundaries that provides for service between another utility, Douglas Electric Cooperative, and the International Paper Company (IP) mill at Gardiner.
The mill is located within the Central Lincoln PUD territory that extends along the coast from North Bend to Depoe Bay, but in September 1997 it signed a contract with Douglas Electric for service beginning January 1 of this year.
The Commission has authority to award exclusive territories only where the utility is already the exclusive provider or where competing utilities agree by contract. Central Lincoln PUD has expanded its boundaries since it was formed in 1940, but it did not file with the Commission for an exclusive territory until after the mill signed its contract with Douglas Electric.
In this case, the Commission concluded that Central Lincoln PUD did not have exclusive territory because Douglas Electric had signed a contract with the IP mill and was prepared to deliver power to it.
Last May, the Douglas County Circuit Court also determined that Central Lincoln PUD did not have an exclusive territory and needed Commission approval to obtain it.
Since then, IP has shut down operations at the mill but it told the Commission it still wanted to continue with the power sales agreement with Douglas Electric.
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