Maryland's Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement (STRIDE) program provides a cost recovery mechanism to incentivize local gas distribution companies to accelerate improvements in gas infrastructure. Washington Gas Light (WGL) filed a request to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish its second five-year plan (“STRIDE 2 Plan”) and associated surcharge. WGL's STRIDE 2 plan included separate transmission and distribution plans consisting of the same 11 categories being replaced under their existing distribution and transmission plans, as well as one new transmission asset category. Within its role as a consumer advocate, Maryland's Office of People's Counsel (OPC) intervened in the proceeding on behalf of WGL's residential consumers and wanted to hire a firm to support its staff with its review of WGL's proposed STRIDE 2 plan and surcharge recovery mechanism.
DHInfrastructure conducted a comprehensive review of WGL's progress to date in completing replacements approved under its first five-year STRIDE plan. This analysis was used to determine the replacement rate that WGL had demonstrated it could achieve. Our evaluation of the STRIDE 2 plan also included an assessment of whether the new transmission asset category met the eligibility requirements of the STRIDE statute and WGL's proposal to add a contingency to the project costs estimates used to set the STRIDE surcharge. We summarized our findings and recommendations in both pre-filed and oral testimony submitted to the Maryland PSC.