Despite FERC Decision, Port Jefferson Still Working Toward Repowering

Federal agency denies village's complaint against National Grid over business practices that keep energy prices on Long Island artificially high.

On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a complaint by Port Jefferson village that accused National Grid of “perpetrating fraudulent practices and illegally exercising market power,” according to a report in Newsday.

The village filed the complaint with the FERC over the summer saying that the practices engaged by the utility company, blocked competitors from offering reasonably priced alternative energy or upgrading of inefficient plants running at minimal output.

MORE: Read about the initial filing with the FERC by the village of Port Jefferson.

In its decision the agency said that “the fact that [National Grid's power generation company] does not retire or repower its inefficient units or that Long Island energy prices may be higher than surrounding areas does not sufficiently allege manipulation," Newsday reported.

Mayor Margot Garant said that the village will continue to seek a repowering option.

“All part of the process,” she said in an email to Patch.

Garant believes that the government wants to review the amended Power Supply Agreement between National Grid and LIPA.

The newly approved PSA extends LIPA’s existing contract with the British utility company to purchase power for its customers over the next 15 years.

The new agreement will replace the existing one that expires in May 2013 that was in effect for the last 15 years. In the new PSA, LIPA inserted the option to repower existing power plants, a small victory for the village.

According to a statement issued by LIPA’s COO Michael D. Hervey last month, the new agreement “would establish procedures for the potential repowering of the Port Jefferson, Barrett and Northport steam plants ...”

MORE: Read our story on the amended and approved Power Supply Agreement between National Grid and LIPA.

Garant vows to keep up the fight. In September, the village hired a company called London Economics to do an study on the effects of closing the power plant.

“We will continue our study with London Economics and work cooperatively with all parties towards a repowered Port Jefferson,” she said.

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