The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) (em prompted by an 18-month fight between a utility and a customer threatening to generate its own electricity (em decided on June 10 to keep the docket open in an exit-fee case. Ironically, the fight that brought the issue to the fore was resolved 10 days earlier: On May 31, Central Maine Power Co. (CMP) and Hannaford Bros. Co. submitted a customer-service agreement to the PUC.
Hannaford's five-year contract would set prices that exceed CMP's short-term marginal cost floor, plus 0.015 cents per kilowatt-hour. The pact allows Hannaford, which has 39 supermarkets in CMP's service area, to aggregate its load and test two self-generation sites. For its part, Hannaford will supply the utility with as many as 5 megawatts of interruptible demand. The stores will be electronically metered by telephone link. CMP will provide one monthly bill.
The rest of the contract terms were not disclosed.
Dick Crabtree, CMP's retail operations v.p., says Hannaford will be the utility's first customer to control its own load over a widely dispersed system.
The Hannaford-CMP agreement effectively closes Docket No. 96-048, an investigation of Hannaford's proposal to aggregate. CMP's response to the proposal, Docket 96-187, remains open, however.
Brian Cornwall, a PUC spokesman, says the case isn't specific to any customer: "It's more to deal with a proliferation, or a perceived proliferation, at least on CMP's part, of industrial customers self-generating and leaving the system, and what to do about that in the context of restructuring."