Natural gas distribution
Gaz Métro distributes approximately 97% of the natural gas
consumed in Québec. In order to supply its customers, the company relies on a varied portfolio of transportation and storage tools. Gaz Métro has transportation capacity on the TCPL and Union Gas systems that it uses to deliver natural gas to its exclusive service area, either from Western Canada or Dawn, in Ontario. The storage capacities contracted or owned by Gaz Métro enable it to manage fluctuations in its customers’ consumption. Gaz Métro has contracted storage capacity in Québec and at Dawn. Gaz Métro buys the natural gas required to supply its customers or receives natural gas from customers who have opted to secure their own supply of natural gas. On an annual basis, Gaz Métro submits its supply plan to the Régie de l’énergie for approval.
Gaz Métro is regulated by the Régie de l’énergie, which annually sets the transportation, load-balancing and distribution rates , as well as the supply, cap-and-trade-system (CATS) and compression rates on a monthly basis. The Régie also oversees Gaz Métro’s operating, network-development and natural gas distribution activities.
Vermont Gas Systems
Vermont Gas Systems (VGS)
, a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, owns and operates a natural gas transportation and distribution network of over 1,300 km in Vermont, United States. VGS is the sole gas distributor in Vermont, serving close to 50,000 mainly residential and commercial customers. VGS procures its natural gas from Western Canada and Dawn, in Ontario. The natural gas is transported and delivered via the TCPL network to its main pipeline, located on the Canada-Vermont border. VGS is regulated by the Vermont Public Service Board (VPSB), which annually approves its base rates while supply rates are adjusted each quarter using the current rate adjustment mechanism.
Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP)
, a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, is the largest electricity distributor
in Vermont, serving over 70% of the market and more than 260,000 customers. GMP’s core business includes the distribution, transportation, generation, purchase and sale of electricity in Vermont and, to a minor degree, electricity transportation in New Hampshire and electricity generation in the states of New York, Maine and Connecticut. The GMP network comprises over 1,500 km of overhead transmission lines, 18,000 km of overhead distribution lines and 1,600 km of underground distribution lines, located mainly in Vermont but also extending to New Hampshire and New York. Although it produces a portion of the electricity it distributes, most of the electricity is purchased from various producers.
Its supply portfolio consists of multiple generation sources, the main one being hydroelectricity
, and to a lesser extent, nuclear, wind
power. GMP also owns 32 hydroelectric generating stations in Vermont, which account for approximately 8% of its supply portfolio. Moreover, as the only electric utility in Vermont that owns and operates commercial-scale wind farms (through its KCW wind farm with an installed capacity of 63 megawatts located in Lowell and the Searsburg facility with an installed capacity of 6 megawatts) and given its installed capacity of 7.9 megawatts of solar power generation, GMP is the largest wind and solar power producer in the state. GMP is also actively developing other renewable energy projects, such as Cow Power
, which converts manure from dairy cows into clean electric energy.
Like VGS, GMP is regulated by the VPSB. Every year, VPSB sets the electricity rates using a cost-of-service method. However, a quarterly adjustment mechanism is in place to ensure that any additional electricity supply and transmission costs or savings not anticipated during the rate-setting process, are recovered from or returned to customers.
Velco and Transco
GMP owns a significant interest in Transco and in Velco. Transco’s main activities are planning, building, operating and maintaining an electricity transmission system in Vermont. Transco owns and operates a high-voltage electricity transmission system, enabling it to offer electricity transmission services to over 17 electricity distributors in Vermont and two in New Hampshire. It also supplies electricity to New England through ISO-NE, which manages power generation and transmission operations in that region. Velco operates a transmission line used to transmit the electricity that New England electricity distributors purchase from Hydro-Québec. Velco also acts as manager of Transco, giving it the power to manage, at its discretion, Transco’s day-to-day operations. Velco and Transco are regulated by the FERC for rate-setting and financing and by other Vermont regulatory agencies for such matters as the construction of electricity transmission-related assets.