Description: Rhode Island Attorney General's challenge to the sale of the Narragansett Electric Company.
Neronha v. Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities & Carriers
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/19/2022 Settlement Agreement Download Settlement reached. New Utility Owner Agreed to Decarbonization Terms in Settlement with Rhode Island Attorney General . The Rhode Island Attorney General and the purchaser of the Narragansett Electric Company reached an agreement to resolve the Attorney General’s appeal of the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers’ approval of the sale of the electric and natural gas utility. The settlement agreement included “Additional Commitments” that are binding and enforceable, including terms and conditions regarding decarbonization goals. The decarbonization terms include requirements for preparation of a report assessing the utility’s role in meeting requirements of Rhode Island’s 2021 Act on Climate and for presentation of a long-term strategy for the gas distribution system in light of the Act on Climate. Other settlement terms related to procedures for distributed energy resources interconnection and contributions to a renewable energy fund and to the Attorney General to retain experts to review the utility’s Act on Climate report or to support the Attorney General’s participation in any docket concerning the gas distribution business. 04/01/2022 Order Download Motion for a stay granted. Rhode Island Court Temporarily Blocked Sale of Electric/Gas Utility. A Rhode Island Superior Court granted the Rhode Island Attorney General’s emergency motion for a stay of a Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers order approving the sale of the Narragansett Electric Company—which provides electric and natural gas service to approximately 780,000 customers in Rhode Island. GoLocalProv reported that the court’s decision stated that “although this Court agrees that efficiency is an important consideration, efficiency cannot be prioritized over the level of diligence required for a transaction of this magnitude.” The Attorney General’s complaint asserted multiple grounds for challenging the transaction, including an alleged failure to consider whether it was consistent with the State’s Act on Climate and how the new owner would “ensure the same or better storm response than the services currently provided … without increasing the costs of such response.” The court is hearing the case on an expedited schedule. Oral argument on the underlying appeal was scheduled for April 12, 2022. 02/24/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Rhode Island Attorney General Challenged Sale of Utility. The Rhode Island Attorney General filed a lawsuit in Rhode Island Superior Court seeking to block the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers’ approval of the sale of the Narragansett Electric Company—which provides electric and natural gas service to approximately 780,000 customers in Rhode Island—from National Grid USA to PPL Corporation and PPL Rhode Island Holdings, LLC (together, PPL). The Attorney General’s allegations included that the companies failed to provide evidence that PPL was “capable of and committed to helping Rhode Island meet its required greenhouse gas emission reductions under the Act on Climate or provide any specifics as to how it may accomplish such actions.” The Attorney General also filed an emergency motion to stay the approval during the pendency of the appeal. 02/24/2022 Motion Download Emergency motion to stay filed.