A change in plans for the proposed Constitution Pipeline would eliminate the need for a new compressor facility and make for a more environmentally sound project, officials say.
Iroquois Gas Transmission System announced Tuesday the company will expand its own compressor and metering facility in the Schoharie County town of Wright under a 15-year lease agreement with Constitution Pipeline LLC. Iroquois will add two 11,000-horsepower turbines to the existing facility, at an estimated cost of $75 million.
Constitution Pipeline plans to submit an application early this year to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking permission to build a 122-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to the Wright compressor station. Part of the plan had been for Constitution to build its own compression station in Wright, with two 16,000-horsepower turbines, but that has been dropped.
Iroquois’ existing Wright station uses two 7,100-horsepower turbines, according to company spokeswoman Ruth Parkins. It sends gas to markets east and southeast of Wright through pipelines owned by Iroquois and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC.
The Wright Interconnect Project would enable the existing compressor station to handle the 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas the proposed Constitution Pipeline is projected to carry each day.
Parkins said the changes won’t mean more natural gas being transported through the compressor facility, but rather make another source of gas available to Iroquois customers.
“It adds supply diversity,” she said.
The new gas would travel from northeast Pennsylvania, where Marcellus Shale is yielding copious supplies through hydrofracking, into the compressor station and then to markets in Boston and Long Island.
Constitution Pipeline spokesman Christopher Stockton said Tuesday in an email the agreement lets Constitution forego the more complicated process of compressing gas in an additional facility.
“The Wright Compressor Station has always been a strategic interconnect point for us because it provides access to two major pipelines which serve different markets — Iroquois and Tennessee. That was always part of the plan,” he said. “However, the gas on our system is operating at a lower pressure than is operated in these pipelines. That means it needs to be compressed before it can enter these pipelines. Originally, our plan was to compress it ourselves. However, this project makes that unnecessary.”
Iroquois will be submitting a separate request to FERC for the upgrades, but Parkins said the two projects will likely be reviewed simultaneously, since they’re intertwined.
Parkins said an addition to the Iroquois Gas Transmission website, www.iroquois.com, will focus on the Wright Interconnect Project.
More information on the Constitution Pipeline project can be found online at constitutionpipeline.com.