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In This Issue

Eversource Says Pipeline Project Still On Track Despite Adverse Rulings

Solar Benefits All Ratepayers

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price


NOAA 6 to 10 Day Outlook
Color indicates the probability of forecasted temperatures being above or below a historical average for the period.


Market Overviews

Eversource Says Pipeline Project Still On Track Despite Adverse Rulings

Union Leader | November 10, 2016

Eversource Energy remains committed to the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline project despite an adverse court ruling in Massachusetts and a rejection by regulators in New Hampshire.

Utility executives told industry stock analysts on Wednesday that the project is still alive and well, and on track for construction to begin in 2019, although new legislation or legal appeals may be necessary in the two states.

The Access Northeast Project would upgrade the existing Algonquin Gas Transmission system in southern New England and add storage facilities for liquefied natural gas.

Opponents of the pipeline expansion project celebrated its demise after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in mid-August that the cost of natural gas pipelines cannot be passed on to electricity customers, even though more than 50 percent of the electricity in New England is generated by natural gas.

That setback was followed by another on Oct. 8, when the N.H. Public Utilities Commission issued a similar decision, citing the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Expanding natural gas flow into New England was viewed with such urgency in 2014 that in January of that year the governors of the six New England states proposed funding a new pipeline by adding a charge to electricity bills, on the premise that the new pipeline capacity would eventually reduce the cost of electricity.

Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine have passed legislation enabling such a plan, given the inability of pipeline developers to attract investment from power plant owners.

But Access Northeast is largely contingent on all New England states coming on board. With the participation of New Hampshire and Massachusetts in limbo, the project appeared to be on life support, if not dead.

Eversource executives, however, sounded extremely confident that they could find a path forward.

“Ultimately, we firmly believe that the region’s need for additional pipeline capacity to the west and Access Northeast’s unique attributes will result in our project moving forward,” said Lee Olivier, Eversource executive vice president for strategy and business development. “We and our partners, Spectra Energy and National Grid, remain committed to the project.”

Olivier said enabling legislation could be proposed in Massachusetts.

“Regarding the legislative option, the Massachusetts legislature will reconvene in early 2017. So, a new statute similar to laws that have been passed in recent years in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine could be voted on by mid-2017,” he said.

Law gets support

In New Hampshire, the legislation is headed in the other direction. A bill proposed earlier this year, HB1101, would prohibit charges to New Hampshire residents for the construction of high-pressure gas pipelines.

The measure was referred to an interim study committee, which on Oct. 28 issued its report recommending the bill become law by a 15-4 vote.

Analyst Shahriar Pourreza with Guggenheim Securities asked Olivier if the project could go forward without New Hampshire, which accounts for only 10 percent of New England’s electricity consumption.

“Can you theoretically just bypass New Hampshire and socialize the cost through the rest of the New England region, just given the fact that it’s such a small piece of that pipe?” he asked.

Olivier said the New England governors came up with this idea and “quite frankly, it was with the understanding that each state would take its load share of the gas.”

“So our view on that is we still think there’s an opportunity for having New Hampshire take their respective load, which is not big,” he said. “We’re still committed to work with the other governors and work with the state of New Hampshire to find a pathway through which they pay for their share of the gas.”

Appeal deadline near

Eversource has until Nov. 7 to make an administrative appeal to the Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its decision, and could appeal to the state Supreme Court after that.

“Requesting reconsideration from the commission would be required before an appeal,” said Olivier.

New Hampshire’s state-appointed consumer advocate on utility issues, Don Kreis, has been a vocal opponent of the Access Northeast funding scheme.

“The issue for residential utility customers, and thus the consumer advocate, is not whether there should be additional pipeline capacity in New England,” he said. “Rather, the issue is whether the business risk associated with these pipelines should be placed on the backs of residential utility customers. We’ll testify energetically against any such efforts at the State House.”

Eversource spokesman Martin Murray says Access Northeast can help relieve what has been termed a “precarious” operating situation in the region’s electrical grid.

“We remain committed to Access Northeast. It’s a sensible and economic solution to the challenge. But, we recognize that the original proposal may have to be modified,” he said.

“A hybrid project that serves not only electrical generators but also local gas distribution companies is one possibility.”
The utility is in the process of deciding whether or not to ask the PUC to reconsider its decision, according to Murray. That would be the first step to a Supreme Court appeal.

Read More:

Solar Benefits All Ratepayers

Portland Press Herald | November 10, 2016

Once again, the electric utility industry is spreading the same old tired falsehoods about solar net metering (“Maine Voices: Electric customers can’t subsidize solar,” Oct. 2). Don’t believe it.

Independent studies, in state after state including Maine, have repeatedly found that solar net metering saves money for all electric ratepayers. Plus, residential solar development is proven to help grow local economies, create new jobs, raise incomes and reduce pollution.

But the electric utilities want you to think otherwise, and appear to be willing to say anything to make their case.

The industry, working through trade groups, is in a panic about rooftop solar. A 2013 Edison Electric Institute report identified solar as a “disruptive technology,” capable of unraveling the utility industry’s monopoly franchise just as cell phones did to the landline telephone industry.

As part of that report, EEI laid out a playbook to undermine state policies that support consumer-owned rooftop solar. Their primary target – net metering, which is a key component of a modern energy grid that gives consumers the right to generate their own energy and get a fair credit for excess power sent to neighbors.

Net metering is the fundamental building block to any stable solar market, and currently exists in over 40 states across the country. Utilities have repeatedly tried (and failed) to label it a subsidy.

Maine got out ahead of this issue last year when the Public Utilities Commission, at the direction of the state Legislature, conducted a “Value of Solar” study. An independent consultant developed the initial PUC study. All stakeholders had the opportunity to submit evidence and comments. The final draft was then subject to open deliberations and received unanimous adoption by all three Maine PUC commissioners.

What was the PUC’s conclusion? Solar net metering benefits all ratepayers. In fact, the PUC found that the value of each kilowatt-hour of solar electricity a homeowner puts on the grid in Maine is worth more than the consumer gets back in net metering credits.

The study was updated this summer, showing that the benefits of solar to ratepayers are rising, even as the credits paid to solar generators are frozen.

The value of net metering is not a close question. Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities found that no cost-shift from solar customers to non-solar customers exists, and struck down an electric utility proposal to raise rates on solar net metering. The state also decided to maintain uncapped net metering and extend key renewable energy programs.

Rhode Island recently expanded net metering and passed solar-specific incentives to encourage growth with the state’s new renewable portfolio standards. And New York is moving forward to open markets to a new, data-driven approach to bring more clean energy onto the electric grid.

In light of the clear and rising benefits, Maine should be encouraging homeowners to invest in solar. Adding more renewables to our energy mix will save money and lower the cost of electricity for all ratepayers – and that’s not even counting the other benefits of solar in Maine, like high-quality, much-needed jobs. Nor does it count for the social and environmental benefits, such as reduced pollution and less oil and gas drilling.

The fact is, the more energy we save – whether through efficiency, reduced use or by allowing homeowners to make their own clean, renewable electricity from the sun – the more everyone benefits.

Our electric utilities seem to feel entitled to unobstructed, ever-increasing profits, regardless of how good a job they actually do. That’s not the utility compact. Utilities should rightly be rewarded for investing in the public good. But they should not be allowed to block out new technologies that offer lower-cost, cleaner and better service.

In the case of solar, the data is clear: The public good is best served by a fair program to encourage homeowners to go solar.

Read More:

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update


Natural Gas Losses Resume

The Wall Street Journal | November 10, 2016

Natural gas prices rose Thursday following data that showed storage rising in line with expectations.

Futures for December delivery were recently up 3 cents, or 1%, at $2.819 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, snapping a three-day losing streak.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that 54 billion cubic feet were added to natural gas storage for the week ended Oct. 28, in line with average expectations from analysts and brokers surveyed by the Wall Street Journal.


Oil Edges Higher After Shock Trump Victory For U.S. Presidency

Reuters | November 10, 2016

Oil prices dipped on Thursday as investors were still reeling from a record weekly surge in U.S. crude inventories and many remained skeptical about whether OPEC will actually implement its planned output cap.

U.S. crude was down 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $44.52 per barrel. At one point, oil had fallen more than $1 a barrel and hit a session low of $44.37.

Brent crude was down 65 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $46.21 a barrel by 1:31 p.m. EDT (1831 GMT). It hit a session low of 45.99.

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 4,017 Bcf as of Friday, November 4, 2016, according to EIA estimates.
This represents a net increase of 54 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 47 Bcf higher than last
year at this time and 189 Bcf above the fi ve-year average of 3,828 Bcf. At 4,017 Bcf, total working gas
is above the five-year historical range.

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price ($ per mmBtu)

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change - Five Yearly Snapshot

Disclaimer: The information contained in these reports is gathered from public and/or internal sources and is presented solely for the convenience of our customers and Newsletter Subscribers. Patriot Energy Group makes no representation or warranty, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information set forth in this newsletter, and Patriot Energy shall not have any liability to any person or entity resulting from use of this information in any way.
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