Electric service outside existing municipal limits.
Except as otherwise provided in subdivisions (2), (3), and (4) of this section in areas outside existing municipal limits (including areas annexed to municipalities on or after April 26, 1984), no electric supplier shall construct or maintain electric distribution lines for the provision of retail electric service to any premises being provided retail electric service by another electric supplier, or to any new premises located within the boundaries of assigned service areas of another electric supplier, even if the premises is within municipal limits and the electric supplier, in whose assigned area the premises is located has no franchise from the municipality in which such premises is located. Assigned service areas outside existing municipal limits are hereby established as set forth in this section.
(1) Except as specified in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section herein, each electric supplier is hereby assigned the sole obligation, in accordance with its established rules and regulations, in areas outside existing municipal limits (including areas annexed to municipalities on or after April 26, 1984 whether or not a franchise has been granted by the municipality to the electric supplier to whom an area annexed has been assigned or to any other electric supplier), for provision of retail electric service to all new premises located in closer proximity to existing distribution lines of such supplier than the nearest existing distribution lines of any other electric supplier. No other electric supplier shall render electric service to such premises. Thus, the assigned service area of each electric supplier in areas outside existing municipal limits is defined as the area or areas consisting of a line or lines drawn equidistant between the existing distribution lines of such electric supplier and the nearest existing distribution line of any other electric supplier. Where a premises is located in the assigned service area of two electric suppliers, the supplier in whose assigned area the majority of the square footage of the premises falls shall provide the service. The above assignment shall also apply to areas within the existing municipal limits in the event the primary electric supplier fails to exercise the option to purchase set forth in Section 37-14-4.
(2) Notwithstanding the above limitations stated in this section on construction of facilities to serve customers in areas outside existing municipal limits, an electric supplier may construct, operate and maintain facilities for provision of retail electric service to any new industrial customer not presently or previously served by another electric supplier, in an area outside existing municipal limits where the initial electric service requirement to such industrial customer, under normal operations and with a six-month growth period permitted from date of initial service, is equal to or greater than 2500 kilowatts as measured over a 15-minute integrated period, upon written request to such electric supplier by the industrial customer to be served.
(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (2) hereof, no municipality or municipally-owned electric supplier shall provide retail electric service in any area outside existing municipal limits unless the premises to be so served is in the assigned service area of such electric supplier.
(4) The foregoing limitations shall not prevent an electric supplier from constructing electric facilities to serve its own premises used or to be used in its electric operations and other premises owned and occupied solely and exclusively by the electric supplier, or a municipality which appoints the governing body of such electric supplier or any agency of said municipality whose governing body is appointed by that municipality.
(5) Within nine months after April 26, 1984, all electric suppliers having existing distribution lines in each county in the state shall exchange maps of such facilities (as of January 1, 1984) located within the county. These maps shall be sufficiently detailed to permit the development of a definitive understanding of the electric supplier designated to serve under the guidelines set forth in subdivision (1) above. The legislature recognizes that the vast majority of existing distribution lines within existing municipal limits will have no effect on the assigned service areas determined in accordance with this section and electric suppliers may, at their option, elect not to show existing distribution lines which do not affect the assigned service areas.
(6) Neither (i) municipal annexations after April 26, 1984, nor (ii) the construction or removal of any facilities after January 1, 1984, nor (iii) the purchase or sale of any facilities after April 26, 1984 consummated under the provisions of this article shall affect any rights or limitations regarding retail electric service under this section. Any annexation by a municipality pursuant to the laws of this state shall be subject to and conditioned upon recognition of the provisions of this article.
(Acts 1984, No. 84-206, p. 314, §3.)