Spectra Energy and Northeast Utilities plan a $3 billion expansion project for the Algonquin and Maritimes pipelines to provide an additional 1 Bcf/d of natural gas to New England power plants and meet rising demand from heating customers.
Access Northeast, originally outlined by Spectra Energy in a June 27 letter to the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), has an anticipated in-service date of November 2018. Spectra Energy and NU will be equal partners in the project, with the option of additional investors joining in the future. The two companies will work with electric and gas industry representatives, including ISO-NE and NESCOE, to establish the levels of firm natural gas supply required to ensure generation reliability and LDC demand growth.
This expansion will complement Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) and Atlantic Bridge projects. The AIM expansion project will begin to de-bottleneck the pipeline system by the winter of 2016-2017, enhancing reliability and reducing natural gas price volatility in New England. Atlantic Bridge’s proposed in-service date is November 2017, and it will be similarly supported by gas utilities. Access Northeast will provide needed additional firm supplies, delivered directly to the power generators, to address electric reliability. The project will enable local natural gas distribution companies to request new access points and lateral pipelines for additional capacity.