DR 98-084 
                Special Contract No. NHPUC-140 
                   Shaw's Supermarket, Inc.
      Order Nisi Approving Special Contract No. NHPUC-140
                  O R D E R  N O.  22,964
                         June 29, 1998
                                   On May 15, 1998, Public Service Company of New
    Hampshire (PSNH) filed with the New Hampshire Public
    Utilities Commission (NHPUC or Commission) a special
    contract, NHPUC-140, between PSNH and Shaw's Supermarkets,
    Inc. (Shaw's) to become effective June 1, 1998.
          The purpose of this filing is to assist NEPOOL in
    ensuring an adequate supply of electricity in the region
    this summer.  NHPUC-140 provides benefits to PSNH, its other
    customers and the New England region by enabling PSNH to
    maintain 715 kilowatts (kW) of interruptible load, thereby
    helping PSNH to prevent a potential summer capacity problem. 
    Under this agreement, Shaw's would receive a payment of $2
    per kW of interruption, and would not be penalized for its
    failure to interrupt when called upon by NEPOOL.
          NHPUC-140 allows eleven of Shaw's locations to
    receive service under NEPOOL Type 5 Interruptible Service
    Rate N-5 (Rate N-5).  Rate N-5 requires each customer to
    designate a minimum of 100 kW of load as interruptible. 
    Each of Shaw's locations is able to provide only 65 kW of
    interruptible load, but those locations in total can provide
    715 kW of interruptible load.  NHPUC-140 provides for a
    waiver of the 100 kW minimum for each location.
          Staff has reviewed the filing and recommends 
    approval of this contract based upon the fact that it will
    enable PSNH to have 715 kW of interruptible load that would
    not otherwise be available for interruption, thereby helping
    to prevent a potential capacity problem for the supply of
    electricity in New England this summer.  Staff, however, has
    concerns that there may be other customers who are eligible
    for interruptible service but who do not qualify under the
    tariffed rate, Rate N-5, and that a change in the tariffed
    rate's eligibility criteria may be warranted. 
          The Commission has reviewed Staff's recommendation
    and finds that the special contract, NHPUC-140, between PSNH
    and Shaw's is in the public interest.  The Commission also
    agrees with Staff that further information from PSNH is
    warranted regarding the eligibility of other customers for
    the tariffed rate, Rate N-5.  Such information should
    include an estimate of the number of customers who are
    situated similarly to Shaw's, whether those customers have
    been contacted, and the feasibility and costs of modifying
    Rate N-5 to make it available to customers with a load less
    than 100 kW.
          Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
          ORDERED NISI, that Special Contract No. NHPUC-140
    between PSNH and Shaw's as filed on May 15, 1998 is
    APPROVED; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that PSNH file a report with the
    Commission, by July 15, 1998, addressing the customer and
    eligibility concerns raised by Staff and described in our
    analysis above; and it is 
          FURTHER ORDERED, that PSNH file with the
    Commission a report, by October 1, 1998, indicating how
    often NEPOOL called for curtailment of interruptible load
    and the response of the customer, including the level and
    duration of interruption; and it is 
          FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. 
    Rules PUC 203.01, PSNH shall cause a copy of this Order Nisi
    to be published once in a statewide newspaper of general
    circulation, such publication to be no later than July 7,
    1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with this
    office on or before July 14, 1998; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that any interested party may
    file written comments or request an opportunity to be heard
    in this matter no later than July 10, 1998; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi will be
    effective on June 30, 1998, unless the Commission provides
    otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the
    effective date.  In the event that the Commission determines
    otherwise as a result of comments filed in opposition to
    this order, the billing would be subject to a full refund.
          By order of the New Hampshire Public Utilities
    Commission this twenty-ninth day of June, 1998.
    __________________ _____________________ ___________________
     Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth     Susan S. Geiger
         Chairman           Commissioner         Commissioner
    Attested by:
    Thomas B. Getz
    Executive Director and Secretary