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Liberty Utilities' Proposal Would Pipe NatGas to Central New Hampshire

Liberty Utilities, an affiliate of Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp., is proposing a new pipeline that would carry natural gas from an interconnect in southeast New Hampshire to the state's central area.

The proposed Granite Bridge project would connect existing Portland Natural Gas Transmission System and Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline facilities in Stratham, NH, with existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline facilities in Manchester, NH.

"Connecting to this pipeline will allow us to access additional natural gas supplies in Dawn, Ontario and LNG [liquefied natural gas] supplies in Saint John, New Brunswick," the company said.

The 27 mile-long, 16-inch diameter pipeline would run completely within a New Hampshire Department of Transportation right-of-way along Route 101, Liberty said.

The project would also include an LNG storage facility capable of storing up to 2 Bcf of natural gas, to be located in an abandoned quarry adjacent to Route 101 in Epping, NH.

"This project is solely for current customers and future growth in New Hampshire," said Liberty's Chico DaFonte, vice president of regulated infrastructure development. "As the New England energy market continues to be challenged by supply constraints, Granite Bridge will provide our New Hampshire customers with a more reliable and secure supply of natural gas and a measure of energy independence."

New pipeline connections from Appalachia have helped to tame winter prices in the Northeast and Midwest, but New England still faces potential capacity constraints during peak conditions, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's 2017-2018 Winter Energy Market Assessment.

ISO New England Inc. CEO Gordon van Welie said recently that there aren't enough interstate pipelines and LNG delivery points in the region to match projected demand. The grid operator has been calling for supply enhancements for years.

Estimated cost of the Granite Bridge project is $340 million. Liberty said customers would pay for the project over time through their natural gas rates. Average residential customers would pay about $2.60 per month more under normal winter conditions. 

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