National Grid ‘confident’ of solution to spat with New York governor


National Grid is confident it can resolve issues in the US after the governor of New York threatened to revoke its gas licence.

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday threatened to strip the network company of its right to supply certain parts of the state amid a months-long spat between the company and the state.

But alongside its six-month results on Thursday, National Grid said it is “confident that we will be able to address satisfactorily the issues raised by the governor of New York in his recent letter to National Grid”.

Mr Cuomo had accused the firm of “continued reckless disregard” for its obligations as a public utility, referring to two safety violations, which the state is investigating.

However, the main argument between the UK’s grid operator and the US state harks back to a gas pipeline which was planned to run through New Jersey and New York.

Earlier this year, the governor’s office stepped in to block the new one billion dollar pipeline.

Mr Cuomo said the project was “risky at best”.

In response, National Grid put a moratorium on connecting new homes in some areas to the grid.

“We recognise the hardship the moratorium has caused and we continue to work hard with all parties to find a long term solution. We also recognise the importance of re-establishing a trusting relationship with all our key stakeholders,” National Grid said on Thursday.

The company said that profit before tax dropped 23% to £404 million, as capital investment grew 28% to £2.7 billion.

“In the first half of this year, we have delivered solid financial performance,” said chief executive John Pettigrew.

“In the second half, we are progressing our priorities across the group, including addressing the gas supply constraint in downstate New York.”

Mr Pettigrew came under pressure earlier this year after the biggest power cut in decades knocked out 5% of Britain’s power supply.

“We continue to work closely with Ofgem and (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) on their investigations,” National Grid said.

The company also announced plans to eliminate net emissions by the middle of the century, in line with the Government’s ambition.

Mr Pettigrew said: “Today’s announcement that we are increasing the group’s own emissions reduction target from 80% to net zero by 2050 underlines our commitment to lead the industry towards a cleaner energy future.

“This objective will be supported by work in other areas, such as offering further energy efficiency programmes for our US customers, proposals for renewable natural gas and hydrogen blending programmes.”