Residents in West Yellowstone, Mont., facing a heating fuel shortage can stay warm thanks to Boise's Intermountain Gas Company.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Friday granted Intermountain Gas emergency authority to sell up to 100,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to aid the town.
Energy West, the natural gas distributor for West Yellowstone, notified Intermountain Gas on Thursday that its chief supplier has been shut down as the result of a power outage in southwestern Wyoming.
Energy West said its needs emergency supply to help it through the next four to six weeks, according to an Idaho PUC press release.
The outage, coupled with the current cold snap, leaves Energy West with difficulty finding alternate LNG sources, Intermountain Gas said in a letter to the Idaho utilities commission.
Intermountain told the commission it has an adequate supply of LNG stored at its Nampa facility. Energy West has an LNG truck-trailer it can send to Nampa to transport the fuel.
Intermountain Gas does not have a rate schedule that allows it to sell LNG.
Given the representations contained in the letters of Intermountain Gas and Energy West, we find that there is an emergency that necessitates the sale of LNG by Intermountain without a tariff, the commission said. Although we recognize that Energy West does not serve Idaho customers, the commission does have the authority to declare an emergency if it finds there is an insufficient supply of energy that threatens the health, safety and welfare of citizens, the commission said.
The commission directed Intermountain to defer all related revenues and costs until Intermountain Gas files its tariff schedule.
Intermountain Gas says customers will not bear any expenses related to the sale. In other gas supply contracts where there is an established tariff, customers share in the revenue the company receives from sale of surplus natural gas supply.