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NEW ENGLAND ELECTRIC SYSTEM IMPLEMENTS A LANDMARK ELECTRIC RESOURCE PLANNING AGREEMENT

 WESTBOROUGH, Mass., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The New England Electric System (NYSE: NES) (NEES Companies or System) today agreed to implement a landmark electric resource planning agreement for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The agreement was developed in discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (State Commissions) and is subject to their approvals.
 The agreement represents a first in regulatory cooperation. It coordinates independent state reviews without the addition of a regional bureaucracy or the intrusion of the federal government. Under the agreement, the System's forecasts and resource plans will be filed and reviewed in all states at the same time.
 The agreement facilitates coordinated planning among all states served by the NEES companies while maintaining each state's ability to promote its own interests within the regional plan. Coordination occurs because plan filing will contain information for the entire System and reviews will be completed in each state on the same time schedule. Planning issues will be resolved consensually in accordance with existing state laws. Any State Commission may veto any significant new generating project developed by the NEES companies, even if the project is located outside of the commission's state boundaries. Thus, all states must be satisfied before any significant new project moves forward anywhere within the System.
 The discussions with State Commissions leading to the agreement grew out of the deliberations on the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. The agreement responds directly to the expressed desire of several parties for a new procedure to review major power projects developed by multi- state utility systems. Today's agreement achieves that objective under state law without the new regional boards or federal preemption that were contemplated in several proposals for Federal legislation. The coordinated reviews by the commissions in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island allow decisions to be made in a timely fashion under state law without an additional layer of regulation or more federal involvement in state and local decision-making. The approach assures that all State Commissions responsible for reviewing the costs of the NEES companies have the opportunity to review and veto the new resource commitments that will drive these costs in the future.
 According to John Rowe, president and chief executive officer of the New England Electric System, "Today's agreement represents the best of New England regulation. It demonstrates again our ability to develop solutions to pressing national problems through consensus rather than confrontation. The agreement meets regional needs while addressing the concerns of each of the states that we serve. It also allows us to respond quickly and flexibly to changing conditions and to develop energy projects on a timely basis when they are needed."
 The New England Electric System companies include New England Power Company, which provides the generation and transmission for the System; and three retail companies -- Massachusetts Electric Company, which serves 922,000 customers in 146 Massachusetts communities; The Narragansett Electric Company, which serves 321,000 customers in 27 Rhode Island Communities; and Granite State Electric Company, which serves 34,000 customers in 21 New Hampshire communities.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Harry E. Stapleford of New England Electric System Companies, 508-366-9011 (days), 617-498-9880 (evenings)/


CO: New England Electric System Companies ST: Massachusetts IN: UTI SU:

DD -- NE014 -- 4094 07/21/93 15:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1993
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