Natural Gas Capacity Expansion
On April 24, 2019, we reached agreement with the owners of an existing natural gas pipeline that serves our facilities in Westchester County for additional natural gas capacity. Once completed, this reasonable, low-impact solution will provide us with the natural gas capacity needed to lift the current moratorium on new gas hookups in Westchester County.
Under the agreement, Tennessee Gas Pipeline would provide the increased natural gas capacity to our distribution system in Westchester by upgrading compression facilities on its system outside of New York State. These upgrades will enhance the capability of the existing pipelines to transport incremental natural gas supplies for Con Edison. Subject to the necessary approvals, the incremental capacity could be placed in service by November 2023.
This agreement supports continued economic growth in Westchester by supplementing existing natural gas capacity without the construction of a new pipeline. When combined with our continued efforts to advance renewables and alternative technologies, this approach will provide customers with clean, affordable heating and cooking solutions.
“This project offers a reasonable, sensible approach to allow an orderly transition to the renewable energy future we all desire,” said Tim Cawley, president of Con Edison. “The solution provides the time needed to improve non-pipeline technology and make it widely available. The additional natural gas capacity will continue to support economic growth in our region, while reducing reliance on heating oil and the need for locally delivered compressed and liquid natural gas.”
We will continue to implement the company’s $223 million Smart Solutions program for customers who are interested in alternatives to natural gas, including incentives to electrify heating systems, upgrade HVAC controls, install geothermal heat pumps, and weatherize their homes. The increased gas capacity plan allows more time for technologies to advance, and for customer adoption to increase for alternative heating and cooking solutions.
Between the company’s announcement of the moratorium and its start on March 16, we received 1,600 applications for firm gas service in the moratorium area.
Demand for natural gas in New York City and Westchester County has grown significantly in recent years. This has been due to conversions of heating systems from oil, as well as economic growth, with developers preferring natural gas in new buildings.