Public Service Company of New Hampshire, 060320 NHPUC, 26, 362

Docket Nº:26, 362
Opinion Judge:Dianne Martin Chairwoman.
Judge Panel:Kathryn M. Bailey Commissioner, Michael S. Giaimo Commissioner.
Case Date:June 03, 2020
 
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PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE d/b/a EVERSOURCE ENERGY

No. 26, 362

No. DE 19-139

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

June 3, 2020

2019 Least Cost Integrated Resource Plan

Order Approving Settlement Agreement

Matthew J. Fossum, Esq., and Jessica Chiavara, Esq., on behalf of Public Service Company of New Hampshire d/b/a Eversource Energy; the Office of the Consumer Advocate, by D. Maurice Kreis, Esq., and Christa Shute, Esq., on behalf of residential customers; and Brian D. Buckley, Esq., on behalf of Commission Staff.

Dianne Martin Chairwoman.

In this order, the Commission finds that Eversource's filing from August 23, 2019, satisfies the requirements of Order No. 26, 050 (August 25, 2017), as modified by Order No. 26, 262 (June 14, 2019), which granted partial waiver of Eversource's statutory requirement to file a 2019 Least Cost Integrated Resource Plan and instead required a more limited document. This order also requires Eversource to submit its 2020 LCIRP filing on, or before, October 1, 2020.

Eversource's filing from August 23, 2019, as well as other docket filings, except any information for which confidential treatment is requested of or granted by the Commission, are available at http://www.puc.state.nh.us/Regulatory/Docketbk/2019/19-139.html.

I.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 25, 2017, the Commission approved the 2015 Least Cost Integrated Resource Plan (LCIRP) for Public Service Company of New Hampshire d/b/a Eversource Energy (Eversource or the Company). The Commission also required Eversource to file its next LCIRP on, or before, August 25, 2019, and to include several deliverables related to least-cost planning. Order No. 26, 050 at 6 (August 25, 2017).

On April 9, 2019, Eversource requested that the Commission waive its obligation to file an LCIRP pursuant to RSA 378:38-a. On June 14, 2019, the Commission waived Eversource's obligation under RSA 378:38 to file an LCIRP within 2 years of the Commission's final order regarding the utility's prior plan. Order No 26, 262 at 6-7 (June 14, 2019). Instead, the Commission required the Company to file an update on the status of deliverables required by its order approving Eversource's 2015 LCIRP and to confirm that Eversource was still following the process of system planning using the procedures, criteria, and policies outlined in its 2015 LCIRP. Id. The Commission declined to waive Eversource's obligation to file an LCIRP within five years of the filing date of the prior plan. Id. at 6.

On August 23, 2019, Eversource filed the more limited document (August 2019 filing) required by Order No. 26, 262. Hearing Exhibit (Exh) 1. Eversource also filed a motion for confidential treatment and protective order relating to certain information contained in its filing.[1]The Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA) filed a notice of participation pursuant to RSA 363:28 on August 27, 2019.

The Commission issued an Order of Notice in the instant docket on September 4, 2019, and scheduled a prehearing conference for September 25, 2019. The parties engaged in multiple rounds of discovery and technical sessions. Commission Staff (Staff) filed the testimony of Kurt F. Demmer on January 22, 2020. Exh. 5. Eversource, the OCA, and Staff (Settling Parties) participated in settlement discussions, and a settlement (Settlement) was filed on March 11, 2020. Exh. 6. The Commission held a hearing on the Settlement on March 16. Pursuant to a Commission request the Settling Parties provided written briefs regarding the Commission's waiver authority under RSA 378:38-a.

II.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A. Eversource

Eversource's August 2019 filing included a document summarizing the status of specific deliverables identified in Order No. 26, 262, and several supporting attachments related to those deliverables. Exh. 1 at 11-208.

The August 2019 filing provided information regarding: (1) joint planning processes conducted by Eversource with both Unitil Energy System, Inc., and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative; (2) organization of Eversource's field distribution operations, planning, and engineering functions; (3) crew compliment reports for 2017, 2018, and 2019; (4) potential projects where targeted energy efficiency solutions might alleviate loading concerns at 4 and 12 kV substations; (5) HeatSmart customer...

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