Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp., 030920 NHPUC, 26, 337

Docket Nº:ORDER 26, 337
Opinion Judge:Dianne Martin, Chairwoman
Judge Panel:Kathryn M. Bailey, Commissioner, Michael S. Giaimo, Commissioner
Case Date:March 09, 2020
 
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LIBERTY UTILITIES (GRANITE STATE ELECTRIC) CORP. d/b/a LIBERTY UTILITIES

ORDER No. 26, 337

DE 17-189

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

March 9, 2020

Petition to Approve Battery Storage Pilot Program

Order Nisi Extending Phase 1 Battery Installations

Dianne Martin, Chairwoman

Pursuant to RSA 365:28, the Commission amends Order No. 26, 209 (January 17, 2019), by extending until June 30, 2020, the deadline for installation of the first 100 customer-sited batteries in Phase 1 of Liberty Utilities' battery storage pilot program. Liberty will modify its customer agreement, marketing, educational, and disclosure materials to reflect notice requirement, timeline, rate, and method of communication for dispatch event changes, that differ from what Liberty originally agreed to pursuant to the earlier settlement agreement. This order is issued on a nisi basis to ensure that interested persons receive notice of the decision and have the opportunity to submit comments or request a hearing before the order becomes effective.

I.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 17, 2019, The Commission conditionally approved implementation of Liberty Utilities' (Liberty or the Company) proposed battery storage pilot program. See Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities, Order No. 26, 209 (January 17, 2019) (Order). The program's goal is to achieve customer savings through peak load reductions. Id. at 37. The Commission conditioned its approval on: 1) notification requirements for material cost increases; 2) ongoing consultation requirements relating to the time-of-use rate design model; and 3) a Cybersecurity Plan filing requirement. Id. at 39-40. The Commission's Cybersecurity Plan filing requirement directed Liberty to file an amended Cybersecurity Plan. Id. at 40. Additionally, the Commission directed:

Liberty must file a written certification signed by Mr. Eck, and also by a senior executive responsible for cybersecurity initiatives, confirming that such evaluations have been completed and conclusions reached, together with documentation describing in reasonable detail the supporting methodologies used in such determinations and include with a copy of its amended Cybersecurity Plan.

Id.

Liberty's pilot program was arrived at by settlement agreement, which the Commission approved in Order No. 26, 209. The settlement agreement implements the pilot program in two phases. Id. at 16. Phase 1 involves the installation of not fewer than 100, nor more than 200, Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries. (Hearing Exhibit 18 at 6-9). The batteries may be installed behind the meter at up to 100 customers' premises. Id. The settlement agreement required: Within nine (9) months following Commission approval of this settlement, at least 100 batteries shall have been installed and become fully operational and available for Liberty to control and dispatch. No batteries shall be installed in Phase 1 of the program later than twelve (12) months following Commission approval of this settlement.

Id. at 7.

Phase 1 concludes with an initial test period, beginning once the first 100 batteries are operational, and lasting for not less than 18 months. Id. at 8. Phase 2, which is conditioned on the demonstrated success of Phase 1, involves the installation of up to 300 additional batteries at customers' premises. Id. at 9-11. The nine-month period to install and make operational the first 100 batteries in Phase 1 expired in October 2019.

On October 17, 2019, Liberty filed a Motion to Extend (Liberty Motion). Liberty's Motion requested an extension of the deadline to February 28, 2020, for...

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