1. Consolidation and Nature of Operations
The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Pinnacle West and our subsidiaries: APS and El Dorado Investment Company (“El Dorado”) and formerly SunCor Development Company (“SunCor”) and APS Energy Services Company, Inc. (“APSES”). See Note 13 for discussion of the bankruptcy filing of SunCor and the sale of APSES. Intercompany accounts and transactions between the consolidated companies have been eliminated. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements for APS include the accounts of APS and the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (“Palo Verde”) sale leaseback variable interest entities (“VIEs”) (see Note 7 for further discussion). Our accounting records are maintained in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). The preparation of financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Weather conditions cause significant seasonal fluctuations in our revenues; therefore, results for interim periods do not necessarily represent results expected for the year.
Our condensed consolidated financial statements reflect all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments except as otherwise disclosed in the notes) that we believe are necessary for the fair presentation of our financial position, results of operations and cash flows for the periods presented. These condensed consolidated financial statements and notes have been prepared consistently with the 2011 Form 10-K with the exception of the reclassification of certain prior year amounts on our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income and Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows to conform to the current year presentation.
See Note 16 for discussion of amended guidance on the presentation of comprehensive income.
The following tables show the impact of the reclassifications to prior year (previously reported) amounts (dollars in thousands):
2. Long-Term Debt and Liquidity Matters
Pinnacle West and APS maintain committed revolving credit facilities in order to enhance liquidity and provide credit support for their commercial paper programs.
At June 30, 2012, Pinnacle West’s $200 million credit facility, which matures in November 2016, was available to refinance indebtedness of the Company and for other general corporate purposes, including credit support for its $200 million commercial paper program. Pinnacle West has the option to increase the amount of the facility up to a maximum of $300 million upon the satisfaction of certain conditions and with the consent of the lenders. At June 30, 2012, Pinnacle West had no outstanding borrowings under its credit facility, no letters of credit outstanding and no commercial paper borrowings.
On January 13, 2012, APS issued $325 million of 4.50% unsecured senior notes that mature on April 1, 2042. The net proceeds from the sale were used along with other funds to repay at maturity APS’s $375 million aggregate principal amount of 6.50% senior notes on March 1, 2012.
On May 1, 2012, pursuant to the mandatory tender provision, APS purchased all $32 million of the Maricopa County, Arizona Pollution Control Corporation Pollution Control Revenue Refunding Bonds (Arizona Public Service Company Palo Verde Project), 2009 Series B, due 2029. On June 1, 2012 we remarketed these bonds. Currently, the interest rate on these bonds is reset daily by a remarketing agent. The daily rate at June 30, 2012 was 0.17%. Additionally, the bonds are supported by a letter of credit. These bonds are classified as long-term debt on our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at June 30, 2012 and were classified as current maturities of long-term debt on our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at December 31, 2011.
On June 1, 2012, pursuant to the mandatory tender provision, APS changed the interest rate mode for the approximately $38 million of Navajo County, Arizona Pollution Control Corporation Pollution Control Revenue Refunding Bonds (Arizona Public Service Company Cholla Project), 2009 Series A. The new term rate period for these bonds commenced on June 1, 2012, and ends, subject to a mandatory tender, on May 29, 2014. During this time, the bonds will bear interest at a rate of 1.25% per annum. These bonds are classified as long-term debt on our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at June 30, 2012 and were classified as current maturities of long-term debt on our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at December 31, 2011.
At June 30, 2012, APS had two credit facilities totaling $1 billion, including a $500 million credit facility that matures in February 2015, and a $500 million facility that matures in November 2016. APS may increase the amount of each facility up to a maximum of $700 million upon the satisfaction of certain conditions and with the consent of the lenders. APS will use these facilities to refinance indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes. Interest rates are based on APS’s senior unsecured debt credit ratings.
The facilities described above are available to support APS’s $250 million commercial paper program, for bank borrowings or for issuances of letters of credit. At June 30, 2012, APS had commercial paper borrowings of $109 million, and no outstanding borrowings or letters of credit under these facilities.
See “Financial Assurances” in Note 10 for discussion of APS’s separate outstanding letters of credit.
Debt Fair Value
Our long-term debt fair value estimates are based on quoted market prices for the same or similar issues, and are classified within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. See Note 14 for discussion of the fair value hierarchy. The following table represents the estimated fair value of our long-term debt, including current maturities (dollars in millions):
An ACC order requires APS to maintain a common equity ratio of at least 40%. As defined in the ACC order, the common equity ratio is total shareholder equity divided by the sum of total shareholder equity and long-term debt, including current maturities of long-term debt. At June 30, 2012, APS was in compliance with this common equity ratio requirement. Its total shareholder equity was approximately $3.9 billion, and total capitalization was approximately $7.1 billion. APS would be prohibited from paying dividends if such payment would reduce its total shareholder equity below approximately $2.8 billion, assuming APS’s total capitalization remains the same. Since APS was in compliance with this common equity ratio requirement, this restriction does not materially affect Pinnacle West’s ability to meet its ongoing cash needs or ability to pay dividends to shareholders.
3. Regulatory Matters
Retail Rate Case Filing with the Arizona Corporation Commission
On June 1, 2011, APS filed an application with the ACC for a net retail base rate increase of $95.5 million. APS requested that the increase become effective July 1, 2012. The request would have increased the average retail customer bill approximately 6.6%. On January 6, 2012, APS and other parties to APS’s pending general retail rate case entered into an agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) detailing the terms upon which the parties have agreed to settle the rate case. On May 15, 2012, the ACC approved the Settlement Agreement without material modifications.
The Settlement Agreement provides for a zero net change in base rates, consisting of: (1) a non-fuel base rate increase of $116.3 million; (2) a fuel-related base rate decrease of $153.1 million (to be implemented by a change in the base fuel rate for purchased power costs (“Base Fuel Rate”)) from $0.03757 to $0.03207 per kilowatt-hour (“kWh”); and (3) the transfer of cost recovery for certain renewable energy projects from the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (“RES”) surcharge to base rates in an estimated amount of $36.8 million.
APS also agreed not to file its next general rate case before May 31, 2015, and not to request that its next general retail rate increase be effective prior to July 1, 2016. The Settlement Agreement allows APS to request a change to its base rates during the stay-out period in the event of an extraordinary event that, in the ACC’s judgment, requires base rate relief in order to protect the public interest. Nor is APS precluded from seeking rate relief, or any other party to the Settlement Agreement precluded from petitioning the ACC to examine the reasonableness of APS’s rates, in the event of significant regulatory developments that materially impact the financial results expected under the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
Other key provisions of the Settlement Agreement include the following:
· An authorized return on common equity of 10.0%;
· A capital structure comprised of 46.1% debt and 53.9% common equity;
· A test year ended December 31, 2010, adjusted to include plant that is in service as of March 31, 2012;
· Deferral for future recovery or refund of property taxes above or below a specified 2010 test year level caused by changes to the Arizona property tax rate as follows:
· Deferral of 25% in 2012, 50% in 2013 and 75% for 2014 and subsequent years if Arizona property tax rates increase; and
· Deferral of 100% in all years if Arizona property tax rates decrease;
· A procedure to allow APS to request rate adjustments prior to its next general rate case related to APS’s proposed acquisition (should it be consummated) of additional interests in Units 4 and 5 and the related closure of Units 1-3 of the Four Corners Power Plant (“Four Corners”);
· Implementation of a “Lost Fixed Cost Recovery” rate mechanism to support energy efficiency and distributed renewable generation;
· Modifications to the Environmental Improvement Surcharge (“EIS”) to allow for the recovery of carrying costs for capital expenditures associated with government-mandated environmental controls, subject to an existing cents per kWh cap on cost recovery that could produce up to approximately $5 million in revenues annually;
· Modifications to the Power Supply Adjustor (“PSA”), including the elimination of the current 90/10 sharing provision;
· A limitation on the use of the RES surcharge and the Demand Side Management Adjustor Charge (“DSMAC”) to recoup capital expenditures not required under the terms of the 2008 rate case settlement agreement discussed below.
· Allowing a negative credit that currently exists in the PSA to continue until February 2013, rather than being reset on the anticipated July 1, 2012 rate effective date;
· Modification of the transmission cost adjustor (“TCA”) to streamline the process for future transmission-related rate changes; and
· Implementation of various changes to rate schedules, including the adoption of an experimental “buy-through” rate that could allow certain large commercial and industrial customers to select alternative sources of generation to be supplied by APS.
The Settlement Agreement was approved by the ACC on May 15, 2012, with new rates effective on July 1, 2012. This accomplished a goal set by the parties to the 2008 rate case settlement to process subsequent rate cases within twelve months of sufficiency findings from the ACC staff, which generally occur within 30 days after the filing of a rate case.
2008 General Retail Rate Case On-Going Impacts
On December 30, 2009, the ACC issued an order approving a settlement agreement entered into by APS and twenty-one other parties in APS’s prior general retail rate case, which was originally filed in March 2008. The settlement agreement contains certain on-going requirements, commitments and authorizations that will survive the 2012 Settlement Agreement, including the following:
· A commitment from APS to reduce average annual operational expenses by at least $30 million from 2010 through 2014;
· Authorization and requirements of equity infusions into APS of at least $700 million during the period beginning June 1, 2009 through December 31, 2014 ($253 million of which was infused into APS from proceeds of a Pinnacle West equity issuance in the second quarter of 2010); and
· Various modifications to the existing energy efficiency, demand side management and renewable energy programs that require APS to, among other things, expand its conservation and demand side management programs through 2012 and its use of renewable energy through 2015, as well as allow for concurrent recovery of renewable energy expenses and provide for more concurrent recovery of demand side management costs and incentives.
Cost Recovery Mechanisms
APS has received regulatory decisions that allow for more timely recovery of certain costs through the following recovery mechanisms.
Renewable Energy Standard. In 2006, the ACC approved the RES. Under the RES, electric utilities that are regulated by the ACC must supply an increasing percentage of their retail electric energy sales from eligible renewable resources, including solar, wind, biomass, biogas and geothermal technologies. In order to achieve these requirements, the ACC allows APS to include a RES surcharge as part of customer bills to recover the approved amounts for use on renewable energy projects. Each year APS is required to file a five-year implementation plan with the ACC and seek approval for funding the upcoming year’s RES budget.
On July 1, 2011, APS filed its annual RES implementation plan, covering the 2012-2016 timeframe and requesting 2012 RES funding of $129 million to $152 million. On December 14, 2011, the ACC voted to approve APS’s 2012 RES Plan and authorized a total 2012 RES budget of $110 million. Within that budget, the ACC authorized APS to, among other items, (i) own an additional 100 megawatts (“MW”) under the AZ Sun Program, for a total of 200 MW; (ii) recover revenue requirements for the second 100 MW as APS did for the first 100 MW of the AZ Sun Program; (iii) expand APS’s School and Government Program by another 6.25 MW of utility owned distributed generation; and (iv) own another 25 MW of renewable generation to be described later and installed in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the ACC ordered an initial up front incentive of $0.75 per watt for residential distributed energy and incentive level step downs throughout 2012 based upon the volume and timing of residential incentive applications. Under the ACC’s order, residential incentives could fall to $0.20 or $0.10 per watt by the end of 2012 depending on demand.
On June 29, 2012, APS filed its annual RES implementation plan, covering the 2013-2017 timeframe and requesting 2013 RES funding of $92.8 million to $102.4 million. The budget range stems from options related to distributed energy; if the ACC decides to promote more distributed energy by selecting the higher budget, APS requested that the 2013 incentives for photovoltaic distributed energy begin at $0.20 and step down gradually based upon market participation. APS’s filing also proposed a system of establishing compliance with distributed energy requirements that depends upon tracking and recording distributed energy, rather than acquiring and retiring renewable energy credits. Further, APS described its Community Solar program, a utility-owned 25 MW program that will be split into 3 to 7 separate projects throughout communities in APS’s service territory (this is the 25 MW program described in clause (iv) of the preceding paragraph). APS expects a decision from the ACC around year end.
Demand Side Management Adjustor Charge. The ACC Electric Energy Efficiency Standards require APS to submit a Demand Side Management Implementation Plan for review by and approval of the ACC. In 2010, the DSMAC was modified to recover estimated amounts for use on certain demand side management programs over the current year. Previously, the DSMAC allowed for such recovery only on a historical or after-the-fact basis. The surcharge allows for the recovery of energy efficiency program expenses and any earned incentives.
The ACC previously approved recovery of all 2009 program costs plus incentives. The change from program cost recovery on a historical basis to recovery on a concurrent basis, as authorized in the 2008 retail rate case settlement agreement, resulted in this one-time need to address two years (2009 and 2010) of cost recovery. As requested by APS, 2009 program cost recovery is to be amortized over a three-year period, which ends in 2012.
On June 1, 2011, APS filed its 2012 Demand Side Management Implementation Plan consistent with the ACC’s Electric Energy Efficiency Standards, which became effective January 1, 2011. The 2012 requirement under such standards is for cumulative energy efficiency savings of 3% of APS retail sales for the prior year. This energy savings requirement is slightly higher than the goal established by the 2008 retail rate case settlement agreement (2.75% of total energy resources for the same two-year period). The ACC issued an order on April 4, 2012 approving recovery of approximately $72 million over a twelve-month period beginning March 1, 2012. This amount does not include $10 million already being recovered in general retail base rates.
On June 1, 2012, APS filed its 2013 Demand Side Management Implementation Plan. In 2013, the standards will require APS to achieve cumulative energy savings equal to 5% of its 2012 retail energy sales. Later this year, APS intends to file a supplement to its plan that will include a proposed budget for 2013.
PSA Mechanism and Balance. The PSA provides for the adjustment of retail rates to reflect variations in retail fuel and purchased power costs.
The following table shows the changes in the deferred fuel and purchased power regulatory asset (liability) for 2012 and 2011 (dollars in millions):
The PSA rate for the PSA year beginning February 1, 2012 is negative $0.0042 per kWh as compared to negative $0.0057 per kWh for the prior year. Any uncollected (overcollected) deferrals during the 2012 PSA year will be included in the calculation of the PSA rate for the PSA year beginning February 1, 2013.
Transmission Rates and Transmission Cost Adjustor. In July 2008, the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved an Open Access Transmission Tariff for APS to move from fixed rates to a formula rate-setting methodology in order to more accurately reflect and recover the costs that APS incurs in providing transmission services. A large portion of the rate represents charges for transmission services to serve APS’s retail customers (“Retail Transmission Charges”). In order to recover the Retail Transmission Charges, APS was previously required to file an application with, and obtain approval from, the ACC to reflect changes in Retail Transmission Charges through the TCA. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement (discussed above), however, an adjustment to rates to recover the Retail Transmission Charges will be made annually each June 1 beginning in 2013 and will go into effect automatically unless suspended by the ACC.
The formula rate is updated each year effective June 1 on the basis of APS’s actual cost of service, as disclosed in APS’s FERC Form 1 report for the previous fiscal year. Items to be updated include actual capital expenditures made as compared with previous projections, transmission revenue credits and other items. The resolution of proposed adjustments can result in significant volatility in the revenues to be collected. APS reviews the proposed formula rate filing amounts with the ACC staff. Any items or adjustments which are not agreed to by APS and the ACC staff can remain in dispute until settled or litigated at FERC. Settlement or litigated resolution of disputed issues could require an extended period of time and could have a significant effect on the Retail Transmission Charge because any adjustment, though applied prospectively, may be calculated to account for previously over-collected amounts.
Effective June 1, 2011, APS’s annual wholesale transmission rates for all users of its transmission system increased by approximately $44 million for the twelve-month period beginning June 1, 2011 in accordance with the FERC-approved formula as a result of higher costs and lower revenues reflected in the formula. Approximately $38 million of this revenue increase relates to Retail Transmission Charges. The ACC approved the related increase of APS’s TCA rate on June 21, 2011 and it became effective on July 1, 2011.
Effective June 1, 2012, APS’s annual wholesale transmission rates for all users of its transmission system increased by approximately $16 million for the twelve-month period beginning June 1, 2012 in accordance with the FERC-approved formula. Because of higher relative system demand by APS’s retail customers, the approximately $16 million increase roughly reflects a $2 million decrease for wholesale customers and an $18 million increase for APS retail customers.
On May 14, 2012, APS filed an application with the ACC to implement the FERC-approved transmission rates for retail customers. On July 18, 2012, the ACC approved the application authorizing the implementation of the FERC-approved transmission rates for retail customers to be effective beginning in August 2012.
Regulatory Assets and Liabilities
The detail of regulatory assets is as follows (dollars in millions):
(a) See “Cost Recovery Mechanisms” discussion above.
(b) There are no regulatory assets for which the ACC has allowed recovery of costs but not allowed a return by exclusion from rate base. FERC rates are set using a formula rate as described in “Transmission Rates and Transmission Cost Adjustor.”
The detail of regulatory liabilities is as follows (dollars in millions):
(a) In accordance with regulatory accounting guidance, APS accrues for removal costs for its regulated assets, even if there is no legal obligation for removal.
(b) See “Cost Recovery Mechanisms” discussion above.
4. Retirement Plans and Other Benefits
Pinnacle West sponsors a qualified defined benefit and account balance pension plan, a non-qualified supplemental excess benefit retirement plan, and other postretirement benefit plans for the employees of Pinnacle West and our subsidiaries. Pinnacle West uses a December 31 measurement date for its pension and other postretirement benefit plans. The market-related value of our plan assets is their fair value at the measurement date.
Certain pension and other postretirement benefit costs in excess of amounts recovered in electric retail rates are deferred as a regulatory asset for future recovery, pursuant to an ACC regulatory order. We deferred pension and other postretirement benefit costs of approximately $5 million and $3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively, and approximately $14 million and $6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. The following table provides details of the plans’ net periodic benefit costs and the portion of these costs charged to expense (including administrative costs and excluding amounts capitalized as overhead construction, billed to electric plant participants or charged to the regulatory asset) (dollars in millions):
We expect to contribute to our pension plan approximately $65 million in 2012 (of which $15 million was contributed in July 2012), approximately $150 million in 2013 and approximately $160 million in 2014. The contributions to our other postretirement benefit plans for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are expected to be approximately $20 million each year.
5. Business Segments
Pinnacle West’s only reportable business segment is our regulated electricity segment, which consists of traditional regulated retail and wholesale electricity businesses (primarily retail and wholesale sales supplied to traditional cost-based rate regulation (“Native Load”) customers) and related activities and includes electricity generation, transmission and distribution.
Financial data for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 and at June 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011 is provided as follows (dollars in millions):
(a) All other activities relate to APSES, SunCor, Pinnacle West and El Dorado. See Note 13 for discussion of discontinued operations.
6. Income Taxes
The $70 million long-term income tax receivable on the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets represents the anticipated refunds related to an APS tax accounting method change approved by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in the third quarter of 2009. This amount is classified as long-term, as there remains uncertainty regarding the timing of this cash receipt. Further clarification of the timing is expected from the IRS within the next twelve months.
Net Income associated with the Palo Verde sale leaseback variable interest entities is not subject to tax (see Note 7). As a result, there is no income tax expense associated with the VIEs recorded on the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income.
It is reasonably possible that within the next twelve months the IRS will finalize the examination of tax returns for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2009. At this time, a reasonable estimate of the range of possible change in the uncertain tax position cannot be made. However, we do not expect the ultimate outcome of this examination to have a material adverse impact on our financial position or results of operations.
On February 17, 2011, Arizona enacted legislation (H.B. 2001) that included a four year phase-in of corporate income tax rate reductions beginning in 2014. As a result of these tax rate reductions, Pinnacle West has revised the tax rate applicable to reversing temporary items in Arizona. In accordance with accounting for regulated companies, the benefit of this rate reduction is substantially offset by a regulatory liability.
As of June 30, 2012, the tax year ended December 31, 2008 and all subsequent tax years remain subject to examination by the IRS. With few exceptions, we are no longer subject to state income tax examinations by tax authorities for years before 2007.
7. Palo Verde Sale Leaseback Variable Interest Entities
In 1986, APS entered into agreements with three separate VIE lessor trusts in order to sell and lease back interests in Palo Verde Unit 2 and related common facilities. APS will pay approximately $49 million per year for the years 2012 to 2015 related to these leases. The lease agreements include fixed rate renewal periods, which gives APS the ability to utilize the asset for a significant portion of the asset’s economic life, and therefore provide APS with the power to direct activities of the VIEs that most significantly impact the VIEs’ economic performance. Predominately due to the fixed rate renewal periods, APS has been deemed the primary beneficiary of these VIEs and therefore consolidates the VIEs.
As a result of consolidation we eliminate rent expense and recognize depreciation and interest expense, resulting in an increase in net income for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 of $8 million and $16 million, respectively, entirely attributable to the noncontrolling interests. Income attributable to Pinnacle West shareholders remains the same. Consolidation of these VIEs also results in changes to our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, but does not impact net cash flows.
Our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at June 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011 include the following amounts relating to the VIEs (in millions):
Assets of the VIEs are restricted and may only be used to settle the VIEs’ debt obligations and for payment to the noncontrolling interest holders. Other than the VIEs’ assets reported on our consolidated financial statements, the creditors of the VIEs have no other recourse to the assets of APS or Pinnacle West, except in certain circumstances such as a default by APS under the lease.
APS is exposed to losses relating to these VIEs upon the occurrence of certain events that APS does not consider to be reasonably likely to occur. Under certain circumstances (for example, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) issuing specified violation orders with respect to Palo Verde or the occurrence of specified nuclear events), APS would be required to make specified payments to the VIEs’ noncontrolling equity participants, assume the VIEs’ debt, and take title to the leased Unit 2 interests, which, if appropriate, may be required to be written down in value. If such an event had occurred as of June 30, 2012, APS would have been required to pay the noncontrolling equity participants approximately $142 million and assume $83 million of debt. Since APS consolidates these VIEs, the debt APS would be required to assume is already reflected in our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
For regulatory ratemaking purposes the leases continue to be treated as operating leases and, as a result, we have recorded a regulatory asset relating to the arrangements.
8. Derivative Accounting
We are exposed to the impact of market fluctuations in the commodity price and transportation costs of electricity, natural gas, coal, emissions allowances and in interest rates. We manage risks associated with market volatility by utilizing various physical and financial derivative instruments, including futures, forwards, options and swaps. As part of our overall risk management program, we may use derivative instruments to hedge purchases and sales of electricity and fuels. Derivative instruments that meet certain hedge accounting criteria may be designated as cash flow hedges and are used to limit our exposure to cash flow variability on forecasted transactions. The changes in market value of such instruments have a high correlation to price changes in the hedged transactions. We also enter into derivative instruments for economic hedging purposes. While we believe the economic hedges mitigate exposure to fluctuations in commodity prices, these instruments have not been designated as accounting hedges. Contracts that have the same terms (quantities, delivery points and delivery periods) and for which power does not flow are netted, which reduces both revenues and fuel and purchased power costs in our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income, but does not impact our financial condition, net income or cash flows.
On June 1, 2012, we elected to discontinue cash flow hedge accounting treatment for the significant majority of our contracts that had previously been designated as accounting hedges. This discontinuation is due to changes in PSA recovery (see Note 3), which now allows for 100% deferral of the unrealized gains and losses relating to these contracts. For those contracts that were de-designated, all changes in fair value after May 31, 2012 are no longer recorded through other comprehensive income (“OCI”), but are deferred through the PSA. The amounts previously recorded in accumulated OCI relating to these instruments will remain in accumulated OCI, and will transfer to earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings or sooner if we determine that the forecasted transaction is no longer probable of occurring. Cash flow hedge accounting treatment will continue for a limited number of contracts that are not subject to PSA recovery.
Our derivative instruments, excluding those qualifying for a scope exception, are recorded on the balance sheet as an asset or liability and are measured at fair value; see Note 14 for a discussion of fair value measurements. Derivative instruments may qualify for the normal purchases and normal sales scope exception if they require physical delivery and the quantities represent those transacted in the normal course of business. Derivative instruments qualifying for the normal purchases and sales scope exception are accounted for under the accrual method of accounting and excluded from our derivative instrument discussion and disclosures below.
Hedge effectiveness is the degree to which the derivative instrument contract and the hedged item are correlated and is measured based on the relative changes in fair value of the derivative instrument contract and the hedged item over time. We assess hedge effectiveness both at inception and on a continuing basis. These assessments exclude the time value of certain options. For accounting hedges that are deemed an effective hedge, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is reported as a component of OCI and reclassified into earnings in the same period during which the hedged transaction affects earnings. We recognize in current earnings, subject to the PSA, the gains and losses representing hedge ineffectiveness, and the gains and losses on any hedge components which are excluded from our effectiveness assessment. As cash flow hedge accounting has been discontinued for the significant majority of our contracts, after May 31, 2012, effectiveness testing is no longer being performed for these contracts.
Prior to the recent Settlement Agreement, for its regulated operations, APS deferred for future rate treatment approximately 90% of unrealized gains and losses on certain derivatives pursuant to the PSA mechanism that would otherwise be recognized in income. Due to the recent Settlement Agreement, for its regulated operations, APS now defers for future rate treatment 100% of the unrealized gains and losses for delivery periods after June 30, 2012 on derivatives pursuant to the PSA mechanism that would otherwise be recognized in income. Realized gains and losses on derivatives are deferred in accordance with the PSA to the extent the amounts are above or below the Base Fuel Rate (see Note 3). Gains and losses from derivatives in the following tables represent the amounts reflected in income before the effect of PSA deferrals.
As of June 30, 2012, we had the following outstanding gross notional volume of derivatives, which represent both purchases and sales (does not reflect net position):
(a) “Bcf” is Billion Cubic Feet.
Gains and Losses from Derivative Instruments
The following table provides information about gains and losses from derivative instruments in designated cash flow accounting hedging relationships during the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in thousands). As cash flow hedge accounting treatment was discontinued for the significant majority of our contracts on June 1, 2012, the table below reflects activity occurring prior to that date:
(a) During the three and six months ended June 30, 2012, we had $1.8 million of losses reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive income to earnings related to discontinued cash flow hedges.
During the next twelve months, we estimate that a net loss of $77 million before income taxes will be reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive income as an offset to the effect of market price changes for the related hedged transactions. In accordance with the PSA, substantially all of these amounts will be recorded as either a regulatory asset or liability and have no immediate effect on earnings.
The following table provides information about gains and losses from derivative instruments not designated as accounting hedging instruments during the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in thousands):
Fair Values of Derivative Instruments in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
The following table provides information about the fair value of our risk management activities reported on a gross basis. Transactions with counterparties that have master netting arrangements are reported net on the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets. These amounts are located in the assets and liabilities from risk management activities lines of our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets. Amounts are as of June 30, 2012 (dollars in thousands):
(a) Collateral relates to non-derivative instruments or derivative instruments that qualify for a scope exception.
(b) Other represents derivative instrument netting, options, and other risk management contracts.
The following table provides information about the fair value of our risk management activities reported on a gross basis at December 31, 2011 (dollars in thousands):
(a) Collateral relates to non-derivative instruments or derivative instruments that qualify for a scope exception.
(b) Other represents derivative instrument netting, options, and other risk management contracts.
Credit Risk and Credit Related Contingent Features
We are exposed to losses in the event of nonperformance or nonpayment by counterparties. We have risk management contracts with many counterparties, including two counterparties for which our exposure represents approximately 83% of Pinnacle West’s $74 million of risk management assets as of June 30, 2012. This exposure relates to long-term traditional wholesale contracts with counterparties that have high credit quality. Our risk management process assesses and monitors the financial exposure of all counterparties. Despite the fact that the great majority of trading counterparties’ debt is rated as investment grade by the credit rating agencies, there is still a possibility that one or more of these companies could default, resulting in a material impact on consolidated earnings for a given period. Counterparties in the portfolio consist principally of financial institutions, major energy companies, municipalities and local distribution companies. We maintain credit policies that we believe minimize overall credit risk to within acceptable limits. Determination of the credit quality of our counterparties is based upon a number of factors, including credit ratings and our evaluation of their financial condition. To manage credit risk, we employ collateral requirements and standardized agreements that allow for the netting of positive and negative exposures associated with a single counterparty. Valuation adjustments are established representing our estimated credit losses on our overall exposure to counterparties.
Certain of our derivative instrument contracts contain credit-risk-related contingent features including, among other things, investment grade credit rating provisions, credit-related cross default provisions, and adequate assurance provisions. Adequate assurance provisions allow a counterparty with reasonable grounds for uncertainty to demand additional collateral based on subjective events and/or conditions. For those derivative instruments in a net liability position, with investment grade credit contingencies, the counterparties could demand additional collateral if our debt credit rating were to fall below investment grade (below BBB- for Standard & Poor’s or Fitch or Baa3 for Moody’s).
The following table provides information about our derivative instruments that have credit-risk-related contingent features at June 30, 2012 (dollars in millions):
(a) This amount is after counterparty netting and includes those contracts which qualify for scope exceptions, which are excluded from the derivative details above.
We also have energy related non-derivative instrument contracts with investment grade credit-related contingent features which could also require us to post additional collateral of approximately $184 million if our debt credit ratings were to fall below investment grade.
9. Changes in Equity
The following tables show Pinnacle West’s changes in shareholders’ equity and changes in equity of noncontrolling interests for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in thousands):
10. Commitments and Contingencies
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
Spent Nuclear Fuel and Waste Disposal
APS currently estimates it will incur $122 million (in 2010 dollars) over the current life of Palo Verde for its share of the costs related to the on-site interim storage of spent nuclear fuel. At June 30, 2012, APS had a regulatory liability of $47 million that represents amounts recovered in retail rates in excess of amounts spent for on-site interim spent fuel storage.
The Palo Verde participants are insured against public liability for a nuclear incident up to $12.6 billion per occurrence. As required by the Price Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act, Palo Verde maintains the maximum available nuclear liability insurance in the amount of $375 million, which is provided by commercial insurance carriers. The remaining balance of $12.2 billion is provided through a mandatory industry wide retrospective assessment program. If losses at any nuclear power plant covered by the program exceed the accumulated funds, APS could be assessed retrospective premium adjustments. The maximum assessment per reactor under the program for each nuclear incident is approximately $118 million, subject to an annual limit of $18 million per incident, to be periodically adjusted for inflation. Based on APS’s interest in the three Palo Verde units, APS’s maximum potential assessment per incident for all three units is approximately $103 million, with an annual payment limitation of approximately $15 million.
The Palo Verde participants maintain “all risk” (including nuclear hazards) insurance for property damage to, and decontamination of, property at Palo Verde in the aggregate amount of $2.75 billion, a substantial portion of which must first be applied to stabilization and decontamination. APS has also secured insurance against portions of any increased cost of generation or purchased power and business interruption resulting from a sudden and unforeseen accidental outage of any of the three units. The property damage, decontamination, and replacement power coverages are provided by Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (“NEIL”). APS is subject to retrospective assessments under all NEIL policies if NEIL’s losses in any policy year exceed accumulated funds. The maximum amount APS could incur under the current NEIL policies totals approximately $18 million for each retrospective assessment declared by NEIL’s Board of Directors due to losses. In addition, NEIL policies contain rating triggers that would result in APS providing approximately $48 million of collateral assurance within 20 business days of a rating downgrade to non-investment grade. The insurance coverage discussed in this and the previous paragraph is subject to certain policy conditions and exclusions.
As of June 30, 2012, certain contractual obligations have increased approximately $0.3 billion from December 31, 2011 as discussed in the 2011 Form 10-K. As of June 30, 2012, the updated contractual obligations are as follows (dollars in billions):
FERC Market Issues
On July 25, 2001, the FERC ordered an evidentiary proceeding to discuss and evaluate possible refunds for wholesale sales in the Pacific Northwest. The FERC affirmed the administrative law judge’s conclusion that the prices in the Pacific Northwest were not unreasonable or unjust and refunds should not be ordered in this proceeding. This decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and ultimately remanded to the FERC for further consideration. On October 3, 2011, the FERC ordered an evidentiary, trial-type hearing before an administrative law judge to address possible activity that may have influenced prices in the Pacific Northwest spot market during the period from December 25, 2000 through June 20, 2001. FERC rejected a market-wide remedy approach and instead directed that buyers seeking refunds must demonstrate that a particular seller engaged in unlawful market activity in the spot market and that such unlawful activity directly affected the particular contract or contracts to which the seller was a party.
The hearing is currently expected to commence in April 2013. Although the FERC has not yet determined whether any refunds will ultimately be required, we do not expect that the resolution of these issues will have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“Superfund”) establishes liability for the cleanup of hazardous substances found contaminating the soil, water or air. Those who generated, transported or disposed of hazardous substances at a contaminated site are among those who are potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”). PRPs may be strictly, and often are jointly and severally, liable for clean-up. On September 3, 2003, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) advised APS that the EPA considers APS to be a PRP in the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site, Operable Unit 3 (“OU3”) in Phoenix, Arizona. APS has facilities that are within this Superfund site. APS and Pinnacle West have agreed with the EPA to perform certain investigative activities of the APS facilities within OU3. In addition, on September 23, 2009, APS agreed with the EPA and one other PRP to voluntarily assist with the funding and management of the site-wide groundwater remedial investigation and feasibility study work plan. We estimate that our costs related to this investigation and study will be approximately $1 million. We anticipate incurring additional expenditures in the future, but because the overall investigation is not complete and ultimate remediation requirements are not yet finalized, at the present time we cannot accurately estimate our total expenditures.
Climate Change Lawsuit
In February 2008, the Native Village of Kivalina and the City of Kivalina, Alaska filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of California against nine oil companies, fourteen power companies (including Pinnacle West), and a coal company, alleging that the defendants’ emissions of carbon dioxide contribute to global warming and constitute a public and private nuisance under both federal and state law. The plaintiffs also allege that the effects of global warming will require the relocation of the village, and they are seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages. In June 2008, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the action, which were granted. The plaintiffs filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2009, and Pinnacle West filed its reply on June 30, 2010. On January 24, 2011, the defendants filed a motion, which was later granted, to defer calendaring of oral argument until after the United States Supreme Court ruled in a similar nuisance lawsuit, American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut.
On June 20, 2011, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Connecticut holding, among other things, that the Clean Air Act and the EPA actions authorized by the act, which are aimed at controlling greenhouse gas emissions, displace any federal common law right to seek abatement of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. However, the Court left open the issue of whether such claims may be available under state law. Oral argument in the Kivalina case was heard on November 28, 2011; the parties await the court’s decision on both federal common law and state public nuisance law issues. We believe the action in Kivalina is without merit and will continue to defend against both the federal and state claims.
Southwest Power Outage
Regulatory Inquiry. On September 8, 2011 at approximately 3:30PM, a 500 kilovolt (“kV”) transmission line running between the Hassayampa and North Gila substations in southwestern Arizona tripped out of service due to a fault that occurred at a switchyard operated by APS. At the time, an APS employee at the North Gila substation was performing a procedure to remove from service a capacitor bank that was believed not to be operating properly. Approximately ten minutes after the transmission line went off-line, generation and transmission resources for the Yuma area were lost, resulting in approximately 69,700 APS customers losing service.
Within the same time period that APS’s Yuma customers lost service, a series of transmission and generation disruptions occurred across the systems of several utilities that resulted in outages affecting portions of southern Arizona, southern California and northern Mexico. A total of approximately 7,900 MW of firm load and 2.7 million customers were reported to have been affected. Service to all affected APS customers was restored by 9:15PM on September 8. Service to customers affected by the wider regional outages was restored by approximately 3:25AM on September 9. APS has an internal review of the September 8 events underway.
The FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) conducted a joint inquiry into the outages and, on May 1, 2012, they issued a report (the “Joint Report”) with their analysis and conclusions as to the causes of the events. The report includes recommendations to help industry operators prevent similar outages in the future, including increased data sharing and coordination among the western utilities and entities responsible for bulk electric system reliability coordination.
The Joint Report does not address potential reliability violations or an assessment of responsibility of the parties involved. APS cannot predict the timing, results or potential impacts of any further inquiries into the September 8 events, or any claims that may be made as a result of the outages. If violations of NERC Reliability Standards are ultimately determined to have occurred, FERC has the legal authority to assert a possible fine of up to $1 million per violation per day that a violation is found to have been in existence.
Lawsuit. On September 12, 2011, two purported consumer class action complaints were filed in Federal District Court in San Diego, California, naming APS, Pinnacle West and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) as defendants and seeking damages for loss of perishable inventory as a result of interruption of electrical service. On December 22, 2011, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed both lawsuits. In January 2012, one of the cases was refiled in California Superior Court in San Diego, California, and then removed by defendants to Federal Court in San Diego. APS and Pinnacle West filed a motion to dismiss that was granted by the Court on March 20, 2012. The Court stated that the plaintiffs could refile a complaint against APS and Pinnacle West on certain grounds following the release of the Joint Report discussed above. On May 31, 2012, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint against APS and Pinnacle West. APS and Pinnacle West subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, which was granted on July 27, 2012.
Clean Air Act Lawsuit
On October 4, 2011, Earthjustice, on behalf of several environmental organizations, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico against APS and the other Four Corners participants alleging violations of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) provisions of the Clean Air Act. Subsequent to filing its original Complaint, on January 6, 2012, Earthjustice filed a First Amended Complaint adding claims for violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) program. Among other things, the plaintiffs seek to have the court enjoin operations at Four Corners until APS applies for and obtains any required PSD permits and complies with the NSPS. The plaintiffs further request the court to order the payment of civil penalties, including a beneficial mitigation project. On April 2, 2012, APS and the other Four Corners participants filed motions to dismiss, which are pending. APS believes the claims in this matter are without merit and will vigorously defend against them. We are unable to determine a range of potential losses that are reasonably possible of occurring.
APS has entered into various agreements that require letters of credit for financial assurance purposes. At June 30, 2012, approximately $76 million of letters of credit were outstanding to support existing variable interest rate pollution control bonds of a similar amount. The letters of credit are available to fund the payment of principal and interest of such debt obligations. One of these letters of credit expires in 2015 and two expire in 2016. APS has also entered into letters of credit to support obligations to certain equity participants in the Palo Verde sale leaseback transactions (see Note 7 for further details on the Palo Verde sale leaseback transactions). These letters of credit will expire in 2015 and totaled approximately $44 million at June 30, 2012. Additionally, APS has issued letters of credit to support collateral obligations under certain natural gas tolling contracts and hedge contracts entered into with third parties, including a $40 million letter of credit issued in June 2012. At June 30, 2012, $65 million of such letters of credit were outstanding. These letters of credit will expire in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
We enter into agreements that include indemnification provisions relating to liabilities arising from or related to certain of our agreements; most significantly, APS has agreed to indemnify the equity participants and other parties in the Palo Verde sale leaseback transactions with respect to certain tax matters. Generally, a maximum obligation is not explicitly stated in the indemnification provisions and, therefore, the overall maximum amount of the obligation under such indemnification provisions cannot be reasonably estimated. Based on historical experience and evaluation of the specific indemnities, we do not believe that any material loss related to such indemnification provisions is likely.
11. Other Income and Other Expense
The following table provides detail of other income and other expense for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in thousands):