Gas Capacity Rights. The New York PSC told retail suppliers that to serve firm retail gas load they must have rights to firm, non-recallable, primary delivery point pipeline capacity for the five winter months, November through March, or else must augment secondary capacity with a standby charge payable to local distribution companies holding primary rights.
Nevertheless, it acknowledged that part-year capacity is difficult to obtain (LDCs feel they get higher prices for releasing a 12-month block) and thus set a safe harbor rule promising that LDCs will get full credit for mitigating stranded capacity costs if they offer up at least a seven-month block of capacity to marketers, with no second-guessing by the PSC on the price. Case 97-G-1380, Aug. 18, 1999 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
GRI Funding. North Carolina denied a proposal by the Gas Research Institute to allow natural gas local distribution companies to recover voluntary contributions to GRI through their annual gas cost adjustment proceedings as a way of supplementing GRI funding to offset the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's mandatory phase-out (by 2005) of cost recovery for interstate pipelines for GRI contributions.
State regulators cautioned against automatic recovery, saying instead they would allow LDCs to defer voluntary GRI contributions and submit such items as operation and maintenance costs in ordinary rate cases. Docket No. G-100, SUB 76, Aug. 17, 1999 (N.C.U.C.).
Electric Reliability. The Illinois commission on Aug. 17 launched an investigation into the reliability and management of Commonwealth Edison's overall distribution system in response to the Aug. 12 power outage. The utility will pay the costs of the probe.