NextEra Pushes Again for Approval to Acquire Oncor

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By Editors of Power Engineering

NextEra, blocked twice by the Texas Public Utility Commission from purchasing Oncor for $18.7 billion, has made another request to the commission to buy Texas’ largest regulated utility.

Attorneys for NextEra filed a petition that claims the PUC overstepped its authority, ignored evidence, misinterpreted laws 14 times and used bad judgement in their denial, the Houston Chronicle reported. NextEra indicated the company might challenge the judgement in court.

"The Commission must determine whether a proposal to 'change the ownership of the largest utility in Texas is in the public interest' or whether the public interest is better served by leaving the state's largest utility under the constraints of ownership by financial investors mired in bankruptcy," NextEra's petition said.

The Commission blocked the purchase twice this year, with concerns about the loss of ring-fencing measures that would protect Oncor’s credit rating, as well as who would control the company.

Oncor’s current corporate parent Energy Future Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2014, and has proposed selling Oncor to NextEra as part of its restructuring. The motion was granted by a federal bankruptcy judge.

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