In late June 1997 Wild Goose Storage, LLC (formerly known as Wild Goose Storage Inc.) became California’s newest natural gas utility and the state’s first independent gas storage provider. A unanimous vote by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) created the utility and officially opened the state’s natural gas storage market to competitive forces.
That vote was the result of a set of rules issued by the CPUC for independent natural gas storage facilities such as Wild Goose. The rules exempt independent gas storage providers from traditional cost-of-service ratemaking, but subject them to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Commission. The developers of the project must take the risk for its commercial performance without any direct recourse to the customers of the utility system. The Wild Goose project must be and will be price and service competitive.
In addition, the commission unanimously supported the Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation for a mitigated Negative Declaration. During construction, however, the project was closely watched by CPUC field monitors to make sure the company complied with its environmental mitigation plan. That mitigation plan included comprehensive environmental training for all personnel who work on the project.
WGSL and the project are not affiliated with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the gas and electric utility that serves most of northern and central California. WGSL is completely independent of any other California utility.
WGSL storage customers pay all the costs associated with their use of the storage facility. PG&E is paid separately for the use of its pipelines that bring the natural gas to the WGSL facility. PG&E customers do not see any increases in their bills as a result of the WGSL operations.
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