The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has halted – for now – utility Wisconsin Public Service Corp.'s (WPS) request to affiliate with compressed natural gas (CNG) station developer Trillium CNG.
Earlier this month, a pair of commissioners suggested that they were in favor of the companies' plans, which would have seen WPS supplying natural gas to Trillium as it deployed its network of CNG refueling stations in the state. A decision last week, however, put those plans on ice.
Commission spokesperson Kristin Ruesch told the LaCrosse Tribune that ‘denying the agreement without prejudice allows the commission to consider a subsequent application by WPS or another utility.’
Central to the issue is that WPS, a regulated natural gas utility, could introduce unfair competition into the marketplace – this, according to convenience store chain Kwik Trip, which is currently building more than two dozen CNG refueling sites in the Midwest.
For its part, the commission is mulling the possibility of convening public hearings that will address the issue of utilities like WPS participating in the retail CNG refueling space, the Tribune reported.