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National Grid Exec Asks FERC to Expedite Algonquin Expansion Review

An executive with National Grid has asked FERC to expedite its review of Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC's proposed Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) natural gas expansion project.

In a letter Monday, John Vaughn, National Grid's vice president for energy procurement, told Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Cheryl LaFleur that his company has executed precedent agreements with Algonquin for 118,000 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity from the AIM Project. Vaughn said National Grid needs the additional gas to provide service for the forecasted growth in both residential and commercial load in its New England service territory.

"Algonquin is planning to construct this important project over two construction seasons to mitigate construction-related outages to the extent practicable and to comply with environmental construction windows," Vaughn said. "Timely approval of the AIM Project is essential to implement the proposed two-season construction process and avoid disruptions to the energy market.

"Delay in [FERC] approval could delay the construction of the AIM Project and affect the ability of the AIM Project firm shippers to meet residential and commercial demand during the 2016-2017 winter peak period."

Algonquin, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Partners LP, received a favorable draft environmental impact statement for the project from FERC [CP-14-96-000] last August (see Daily GPIAug. 6, 2014). The AIM Project calls for construction of approximately 37.6 miles of pipeline in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island, and would create up to 342,000 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity to markets in the Northeast.

Last week, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation said it scheduled two public hearings this month to discuss the AIM Project (see Daily GPIJan. 2). The hearings will address separate permits issued by New York for stream and wetland disturbance and the modification of two compressor stations.

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