An annual increase of 1.75% in its peak-day gas loads through 2015 is projected by Boise, ID-based Intermountain Gas Co. in a five-year planning document submitted recently to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Given planned upgrades over the next five years, Intermountain sees no peak-day challenges.

Part of the outlook depends on switching some large industrial customers to oil in peak-demand situations and dipping into some storage supplies.

Intermountain anticipates it will not experience any peak-day delivery deficits as long as upgrades and adjustments are made, particularly along the Idaho Falls and Sun Valley pipeline laterals. The Idaho PUC said it is taking comments on Intermountain's integrated resource plan (IRP) through Nov. 22.

Intermountain Gas serves 305,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout southern Idaho. "If the commission accepts the IRP, it does not mean that the projects in the plan are approved, but only that the company as met its long-range planning obligation," the PUC said.

"Intermountain Gas does anticipate a peak-day deficit as soon as 2011 along its 104-mile Idaho Falls lateral but believes it can mitigate the deficit by switching some industrial customers to fuel oil during times of extremely cold temperatures," the PUC said. "During 2009, 41.2% of the throughput on Intermountain's system was attributable to industrial sales and transportation."

The Idaho Falls Lateral, which serves 15% of the company's customers, serves a number of cities between Pocatello and St. Anthony. In addition to switching industrial customers to fuel oil, peak-day delivery deficits can be managed by bringing on gas from the new Rexburg liquefied natural gas facility, the Intermountain plan states.

The Sun Valley lateral, which serves about 4% of Intermountain's Idaho customers, will require an upgrade to the existing pipeline system to meet growth in that area, the IRP states.

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