HOUSTON, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spectra Energy (SE) and Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) today announced plans to expand natural gas pipeline capacity into the New England Market to meet critical demand for reliable electric power generation. These plans for expansion of the Algonquin and Maritimes pipeline systems are in response to the New England governors' recent initiative on new energy infrastructure and in anticipation of a Request for Proposal to be initiated by The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE). This expansion, as outlined in a June 27 letter to NESCOE, would create up to 1 Bcf/day in capacity, and is in addition to Spectra Energy's previously announced Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) and Atlantic Bridge projects. The project in-service date is dependent upon the timing of NESCOE's process.
"Spectra Energy stands ready with a unique solution to New England's need for reliable electricity supply. Our pipelines are in the right place at the right time to supply the region's electric plants with affordable, clean, domestic natural gas," said Bill Yardley, Spectra Energy's president of U. S. Transmission and Storage. "To enhance the reliability of approximately 60% of these generators, we can expand our mainline and lateral facilities along our existing pipeline footprint while minimizing the effect on communities and the environment."
Spectra Energy's expansion project will deliver gas directly to these natural gas-fired electric generators on a firm basis, providing increased electric reliability and leading to more competitive energy prices for the region. Specifically, the Spectra Energy solution for New England will:
- Provide guaranteed supplies of natural gas on peak days for strategic power plants, using existing pipeline routes, minimizing effects on communities, landowners, and the environment.
- Provide new innovative services, including the ability to accommodate the projected need for more gas-fired quick-start power generation units to respond to sudden changes in output from intermittent renewable resources.
- Be scalable, to ramp up supplies as demand grows.
- Provide direct access to low-cost natural gas supplies, and cost effective solutions that limit price volatility and generate annual savings to consumers.
Spectra Energy's Algonquin Incremental Market expansion project will begin to de-bottleneck the pipeline system by winter of 2016, helping to enhance reliability and soften natural gas prices in New England. AIM is underpinned by commitments from gas utility companies across southern New England that entered into long-term capacity contracts. Atlantic Bridge's proposed in-service is November 2017, and it will be similarly supported by gas utilities. Electric power generators will typically only have access to gas from these projects when it becomes available on the unpredictable secondary market. The plans announced today will provide needed additional firm supplies, delivered directly to the power generators, to address the electric reliability issue.
Spectra Energy Corp (SE), a FORTUNE 500 company, is one of North America's leading pipeline and midstream companies. Based in Houston, Texas, the company's operations in the United States and Canada include more than 22,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil pipelines; approximately 305 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas storage; 4.8 million barrels of crude oil storage; as well as natural gas gathering, processing, and local distribution operations. Spectra Energy is the general partner of Spectra Energy Partners (SEP), one of the largest pipeline master limited partnerships in the United States and owner of the natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil assets in Spectra Energy's U.S. portfolio. Spectra Energy also has a 50 percent ownership in DCP Midstream, the largest producer of natural gas liquids and the largest natural gas processor in the United States. Spectra Energy has served North American customers and communities for more than a century. The company's longstanding values are recognized through its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes and the CDP Global 500 and S&P 500 Climate Disclosure and Performance Leadership Indexes. For more information, visit www.spectraenergy.com and www.spectraenergypartners.com.
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