Consolidated Edison Co. (Con Ed) said Wednesday it has reached an agreement with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) to deliver more natural gas to its service territory in Westchester County, NY, which would allow it to eventually lift a moratorium on hookups, but the expansion could take four years to complete.
To boost capacity, Con Ed said TGP would upgrade compression facilities outside of New York, where regulators have rejected natural gas pipelines as the state advances clean energy policies. Given the regulatory approvals that would be needed, Con Ed said the incremental capacity could be placed into service by November 2023. The project, the utility added, would complement its efforts to advance renewables and alternative technologies.
“This project offers a reasonable, sensible approach to allow an orderly transition to the renewable energy future we all desire,” said Con Ed President Tim Cawley. “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.”
Con Ed in January announced a moratorium on new gas service in Westchester County, citing a lack of supplies to meet growing demand that has risen with heating oil conversions and developers’ preference for gas in new buildings. The utility said Wednesday it received 1,600 applications for new gas service in the area between the time the moratorium was announced and implemented on March 16.
The company also warned last week of additional moratoriums to the south in New York City if the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) Northeast Supply Enhancement project is not approved by state regulators. That project would expand Transco capacity by 400 MMcf/d primarily aimed at demand in New York City. National Grid has warned of the same without Northeast Supply, which is being strongly opposed by environmental groups, some public officials and others as the state Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to make a decision about the project’s water quality certification next month.
In the meantime, Con Ed said it continues to implement its Smart Solutions program for customers interested in alternatives to natural gas, including incentives to electrify heating systems, upgrade HVAC controls, install geothermal heat pumps or weatherize their homes. Con Ed delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County.