Press-Republican

December 12, 2012

NYSEG wants to expand natural-gas service


Press-Republican

ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission seeks public comment on plans to extend natural-gas service along Banker Road in the Town of Plattsburgh.

NYSEG wants to install a 2-inch main for about 700 feet along Banker Road and a 2-inch service line 780 feet along the Nova Bus driveway.

Nova Bus is seeking permission to build and operate a fueling station to prepare its compressed-natural-gas-fueled buses for delivery to purchasers.

The main would provide tenants in the Development Corporation’s Banker Road Industrial Park with access to natural-gas energy. Development Corp. President and CEO Paul Grasso said he supports any infrastructure upgrades in the industrial park, especially one that would provide more affordable energy.

”This would be very helpful for our tenants,” he said.

Grasso said he witnessed a rapid growth in natural-gas vehicles and then fueling stations in Southern California before he came to the North Country. He believes that opportunity will continue to grow here in the future.

MOVING AHEAD

Nova Bus said earlier this year that it plans to produce transit buses that run on compressed natural gas.

”For Nova (Bus) and its employees, it would be a huge thing for them if they can enter the natural-gas market,” Grasso said.

Nova Bus Public Relations Adviser Isabelle Grégoire said the company is working on integrating natural-gas propulsion in its LFS transit buses.

“The project is moving forward, and we are hoping to commercialize sometime next year. At the moment, we are not in production mode,” she said by email. 

TOWN SERVICE

Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the town would like to expand the availability of natural gas to residences as well as businesses. He looks forward to working with NYSEG to make that a reality.

“The possibility we could amend the franchise agreement to enable more natural gas service to to businesses and homeowners is a positive change,” he said. “We hope to make it easier and more cost effective for homeowners and businesses to access natural gas.”

HEARING STATEMENTS

The commission will hold public hearings at 3 and 7 p.m. today in Room 101 of the Ronald E. Stafford Center Theatre at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh.

It may approve, approve with changes or reject NYSEG’s petition in whole or in part, a press release said. 

Those who wish to speak at the hearings will be asked to complete a request card at the session. All comments will be transcribed and become part of the commission’s formal record.

Disabled persons who require special accommodations should contact the Department of Public Service’s Human Resource Management Office at 474-2520. TDD users can request a sign-language interpreter by placing a call through the New York Relay Service at 711.

IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND

Those who cannot attend or prefer not to give a public statement may comment electronically to Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling, secretary, at secretary@dps.ny.gov or by mail to Brilling at: Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350. 

Refer to “Case 12-G-0499 – NYSEG – Plattsburgh Gas Franchise.”

Also available is the commission’s Opinion Line at (800) 335-2120. This 24-hour number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers. Press 1 to comment, mentioning Case 12-G-0499 - NYSEG - Plattsburgh Gas Franchise.

The deadline for comments by email, mail or phone is Dec. 17. 

All comments will be posted for public viewing on the commission’s website at www.dps.ny.gov and given to the commission for its consideration. 

As well, all other documents about the case will be available at the same website by searching for Case 12-G-0499.

Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com