National Grid Addresses NY Challenges as AGA Weighs In

National Grid said on Thursday it was confident it would be able to address concerns over gas supplies raised this week by governor of New York who warned he could revoke the British firm's license to operate in southern parts of the state.

The utility, which runs Britain's energy system and operates a gas franchise in New York City and Long Island, also said it expected to avoid being fined by Britain's energy regulator over widespread outages in August.

Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to strip National Grid of its licence to supply gas in the city and Long Island, saying that it had failed to provide "adequate and reliable service".

He gave the company 14 days to respond and explain why it should retain the license.

American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert responded that, by vetoing pipelines and denying access to natural gas, "Gov. Cuomo is forcing families to use more expensive and dirtier fuels to heat their homes.

“With winter bearing down on us, residents of New York need affordable, reliable energy and after Governor Cuomo denied permits for access to natural gas to supply these communities it seems that he is looking to add insult to injury by taking punitive measures against National Grid,” Harbert said, in a statement provided to Pipeline & Gas Journal.

Based on the 2017 U.S. Census American Housing Survey, 57% of New York state's 7.4 million households use natural gas for space heating while 23% still use fuel oil. The total number of NY households using natural gas for space heating has grown more than 475,000 since 2009.

National Grid said it continued to work with all parties to find a long term solution to ensure gas supplies and was confident it would be able to satisfactorily address Cuomo's concerns. It offered the assurances after reporting higher-than-expected half-year profit.

The company also ran into trouble in its home market after a blackout caused by a lightning strike left more than a million customers including homes, businesses, a hospital and Newcastle Airport without power.

"We did a thorough and detailed investigation...we are not expecting the (regulator) Ofgem will fine us because everything operated as intended and in line with our license and security standards," Chief Executive Officer John Pettigrew told Reuters.

Reuters and P&GJ Staff Report

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