Granite State Settles Dispute Over Aborted Wells LNG Project
The last chapter in the saga of the aborted 2 Bcf Wells, ME, LNG
project has been filed at FERC. A settlement agreement submitted
recently allows LNG project developer Granite State Gas
Transmission to recover $8.3 million in predevelopment costs
through Northern Utilities' ratepayers over a seven-year period.
Northern was the project's most vocal proponent and only
customer, but after four years of battling for the LNG storage
facility and vaporization plant and winning certificates from FERC
and state regulators, the LDC shocked observers by changing its
mind and signing a supply deal with Distrigas of Massachusetts. The
decision left its affiliate, Granite State, with an $11.6 million
bill, about 20% of the expected total project costs, which it
immediately requested be recovered through Northern's rates.
That request was hotly debated at state regulatory commissions
and FERC, but a settlement finally was reached. Granite State,
Northern, regulatory commissions in Maine and New Hampshire, public
advocates in the two states, representatives of the citizens of
Wells, ME, and others have signed the deal. The settlement
agreement calls for Northern to recover the costs of the project
through monthly collections from retail sales and potentially gas
transportation customers in both states beginning retroactively on
Nov. 1, 1999. It also allows Granite State to keep the land
associated with the proposed facility and retain any profits from
selling the property.
The settlement resolves all legal disputes at the state and
federal levels, including withdrawal of the appeal of FERC's
certificate order on the project. The appeal was filed by No Tanks
Inc., a group representing Wells, ME, residents.
©Copyright 2000 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights
reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or
redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of
Intelligence Press, Inc.