New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Nov. 12 gave UK energy company National Grid Plc 14 days to explain why the state should not revoke the utility’s certificate to operate its gas franchise in downstate New York, saying that it had failed to provide “adequate and reliable service.”
The governor, in a statement, cited National Grid’s imposition of a moratorium on new customers, failure to address supply issues and the neglect of the needs of customers.
Also on Nov. 12, National Grid said it will truck LNG and CNG to New York and New England to ensure customers have enough gas to heat homes and businesses on the coldest days this winter.
The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board last week approved National Grid’s plan to install a temporary LNG vaporization facility in Portsmouth, R.I., to provide gas when needed to Aquidneck Island.
In January, almost 7,500 customers on Aquidneck Island lost gas supplies during a brutal freeze. Aquidneck Island is home to Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown, R.I.
National Grid said in response that it “is in receipt of the letter ... and will review and respond accordingly within the timeframe outlined.”
The company said it will “continue to work with all parties on these critical natural gas supply issues on behalf of all our customers in downstate New York.”
In May, National Grid announced a moratorium on new gas customers in New York City and Long Island after New York regulators rejected a pipeline that Williams Cos. Inc. wants to build that will provide gas to National Grid’s downstate customers.
While much of the county is awash in gas with U.S. production at record levels and growing, some gas companies in the Northeast still struggle to meet demand on the coldest winter days.
Opposition to buildout of pipeline infrastructure, particularly in New York state, has prevented some areas farther north from accessing booming Appalachian supply, Daniel Myers, market analyst at Gelber & Associates in Houston, said in a report on Nov. 12.
National Grid has said it hopes that trucking is a temporary fix while it waits for long-delayed pipeline projects to enter service.
Regulators in New York and New Jersey have so far rejected Williams Cos Inc.’s proposed $1 billion Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project. Williams, however, has said it hopes to overcome the states opposition and get the pipe built.
National Grid, which has agreed to buy gas from Williams’ NESE project, has said it cannot sign up new gas customers until the pipe is allowed to proceed because it would not have access to enough gas to supply the new customers without the new pipe.
NESE is designed to transport about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York—enough to supply about 2.3 million homes.
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