National Grid issues statement on State and Federal reports examining Aquidneck Island Gas Supply Event

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National Grid issued the following statement about the reports from the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration surrounding the Aquidneck Island gas supply interruption from January 2019:

“Last winter we experienced an unprecedented gas supply event.  The Aquidneck Island community and National Grid were part of extraordinary response that included a thousand employees and tens of thousands of residents coming together to help each other through those challenging days and nights. Everything we did in the minutes, hours, and days following was driven by a need to ensure the safety of our customers.

Since then, we have been working hard to learn from that event and take what actions we can to provide secure energy for Aquidneck Island.  Over the last several months, we have fully cooperated with the federal investigation as well as the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers in their summary investigation.  We have answered hundreds of data requests, and met with them on multiple occasions to help determine what can be done to help protect against another supply interruption.  

Although we don’t agree with everything in the report, we are pleased the Division’s report reflects National Grid’s fundamental commitment to safety and our exemplary emergency response.  And we are appreciative of their diligence in examining all aspects of the incident, including the areas where we excelled and where we could improve.  In fact, we have already addressed many of the proposed recommendations included in their report, securing additional winter gas supplies, expanding our energy efficiency and demand response programs, and improving long-range planning.

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While we will carefully review these reports over the coming days, the findings confirm our concerns regarding operations of the Algonquin transmission system. Had the transmission system performed as expected, the outage would not have occurred. More importantly, we are focused on the winter ahead and Rhode Island’s energy future. The Aquidneck community should have confidence that gas reliability and future gas service on the Island are a top priority for us.  As the local gas distribution company, we are here working with our communities and taking the steps necessary to meet this objective. We want to do everything possible to secure the ongoing energy needs of Aquidneck Island.”

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