Iberdrola wants to delay spending

ALBANY -- Iberdrola SA, the Spanish company that bought two upstate New York utilities last year in a $4.5 billion deal, now says it cannot afford to make all the investments in its gas and electric system it had promised state regulators.

The two utilities, New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric, are asking the state Public Service Commission if it can hold off on $77 million in required infrastructure spending this year.

Iberdrola is required to spend $270 million in upstate New York this year and another $270 million next year as a condition of its purchase of Energy East, a holding company that owns NYSEG and RG&E.

Instead, Iberdrola only wants to spend about $193 million this year and $276 million next year -- about $71 million less than what it previously agreed to with the PSC, the five-person panel that oversees utilities in the state.

Today at its monthly meeting in Albany, the PSC commissioners are expected to vote on how they should proceed with Iberdrola's request, which is unusual because it was made as part of a separate rate hike request before the PSC. The item is listed on the "consent" portion of the commission's agenda that contains items that are typically not debated.


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