national grid

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

National Grid has come under fire for two proposals related to natural gas. The utility company's goal is to bring down the cost of electricity in the wintertime, but some state lawmakers and environmental groups aren’t convinced.

RIPR FILE

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has barred the National Grid utility and the state Division of Public Utilities from shutting off gas and electric service to about 4,000 Rhode Islanders who have medical conditions.

The ruling, from Judge Netti C. Vogel, bans utility shutoffs from those with medical conditions, such as the seriously ill and disabled, until at least September 26. The action comes after a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Center for Justice, which challenged state procedures for cutting off service to those with medical  conditions.

Staci Fischer

Updated at 5:00 pm

 More than 36,000 Rhode Island customers were without power as of this afternoon. Some 200 individual outages are spread across the state.

The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board has approved four parties, known as "intervenors," to participate in hearings for the proposal to build a power plant in Burrillville.

Those parties include the state’s Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.

The EFSB is charged with overseeing the siting process for major energy facilities in the state.

Federal officials are collecting public comments this week about National Grid’s proposal to build a liquefied natural gas facility in Providence. Residents can sign up to speak at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 8 at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.

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National grid customers in Rhode Island are suing the company, along with the state’s public utilities division. They claim National Grid broke the law turning off their power, despite their low-income or medically vulnerable status.

National Grid spokesman David Graves said there are many safeguards in place before a customer has their power shut off.

“Shutting customers off, terminating their service, is the last step that we take in a very long process to work with the customers, particularly if they’re having trouble paying their utility bills,” said Graves.

The Bottom Line: Power Outages

Aug 13, 2015

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave sit down with Tim Horan, the president of National Grid in Rhode Island. The utility company had tens of thousands of customers loose power after powerful thunderstorms last week.

Horan discusses the feasibility of moving power lines underground to avoid this type of problem and the way National Grid prioritizes efforts to restore power once a storm has ended.

John Bender / RIPR

As residents continue to deal with the aftermath of last week’s destructive storms, lawmakers are hoping to help those most affected.

National Grid has filed an application (PDF) with the federal government to add facilities to its existing liquefied natural gas storage property in Providence.

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island coastline was hardest hit with high winds and power outages. That’s why Gov. Gina Raimondo decided to check-in with the town managers of South Kingstown and Narragansett, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reports.

 

Rhode Island Starts Digging Out Of The Blizzard

Jan 26, 2015
John Bender / RIPR

Residents across the state are digging out of the blizzard that dumped more than two feet on parts of the state. Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted the state’s travel ban last night. She thanked Rhode Islanders for staying off the roads. There was a fire in Providence and a handful of accidents, but no major injuries from the storm.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week, Dave and Mark talk with National Grid spokesman David Graves. They go over the permitting process of stringing new power lines around the island, and why a growing hunger for juice has forced the utility to upgrade.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

National Grid said the tremendous growth on Aquidneck Island has prompted it to spend $93 million on upgrading its power system there.

The utility said the current system is outdated and will soon be overwhelmed. How outdated is it? Well, one substation was built in 1949.

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