Idaho Public Utilities Commission

August 11, 2008

Case No. INT-G-08-02, Order No. 30590

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712

 

Commission taking comments on Intermountain Gas growth plan

 

Intermountain Gas is expecting steady customer growth over the next five years, but the growth is manageable, the company said in a document filed recently with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

 

Regulated gas and electric utilities are required to file Integrated Resource Plans every two years, to keep the public and the commission apprised of utilitiesí plans to meet the demands of growth.

 

The commission is taking public comment on Intermountainís plan through Sept. 4.

 

Intermountain Gas is the sole distributor of natural gas in southern Idaho, serving more than 272,000 residential customers and 33,700 commercial customers in 74 communities. In addition to its core market of residential and commercial customers, the company also has large-volume contract customers. Industrial sales and transportation accounted for 43 percent of the throughput on Intermountainís system during fiscal year 2007.

 

Intermountain experienced a 5 percent increase in residential and commercial customers during the last six months of 2007 and is anticipating an average annual rate of growth of 4 percent over the next five years. In fiscal year 2007, the company added more than 421 miles of distribution and service lines to maintain service for its growing customer base.

 

Many of the companyís customers are served directly off the Williams Northwest Gas Pipeline that comes into southeastern Idaho from Wyoming and generally follows the Snake River in southern Idaho. However, Intermountain owns several laterals that come off the main Williams pipeline. The three largest are the Idaho Falls, Sun Valley and Canyon County laterals.

 

Intermountain Gas said it may have natural gas delivery deficits on some days of peak use along its Sun Valley Lateral if a compressor station, which increases capacity by providing higher pressure, is not added by fiscal year 2011. Also, the company said it may experience delivery deficits by 2012 along its Canyon County Lateral. One of the options Intermountain Gas is considering is to increase capacity by adding a new pipe parallel to an existing line where there is currently a bottleneck.

 

Copies of Intermountainís plan are available on the commissionís Website at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the gas icon, then on ďOpen CasesĒ and scroll down to Case No. INT-G-08-02. Copies are also available for inspection at the commissionís offices at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise.

 

The commission intends to proceed under a modified procedure that allows this case to be handled through written public comments rather than by public hearing. However, comments may request a public hearing.

 

Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commissionís homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (INT-G-08-02) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.

 

Acceptance by the commission of an Integrated Resource Plan does not necessarily mean the commission will approve all the planís projects when they come before the commission for ratemaking treatment.