Palmetto Put on Hold as CP&L Examines Power Needs
A change in the timing and location of North Carolina's power
generation needs has forced Carolina Power & Light (CP&L)
and Southern Natural Gas Co. to put a hold on their Palmetto
Interstate Pipeline and consider other pipeline alternatives. The
companies said yesterday they have suspended ongoing route
selection and survey activities for Palmetto and are analyzing two
competing pipeline projects.
"This is a major decision that will affect our service area for
decades," said Tom Kilgore, CP&L senior vice president for
Power Operations. "Since there are now three proposals to fuel our
electric generation additions, we will thoroughly analyze the plans
so that we pursue the most economical option for our long-term
One competitor is the proposed Sundance lateral off of
Transcontinental Gas Pipeline's mainline and the other is a
proposed extension of Scana's South Carolina Pipeline into North
Carolina. The $250 million Palmetto project would extend 175 miles
from the terminus of Sonat's system in Aiken, SC, to an
interconnect with recent CP&L merger partner North Carolina
Natural Gas in Robeson County, NC. It is expected to have a
capacity to transport about 300 MMcf/d.
"The proposed Palmetto Pipeline is a significant project for the
region," Kilgore added. "Not only is the pipeline integral to
CP&L's current energy plans, but to the development of energy
infrastructure throughout the Carolinas as well. Delaying the
planned in-service date makes good business sense as our overall
resource plan continues to evolve. We want to synchronize as
closely as possible our gas-supply plan with our plans to add
electric generation over the next several years."
CP&L is rethinking the location and timing of several power
projects, but its plans to add about 7,000 MW of gas-fired
generating capacity by 2010 have not changed. That total includes
plans to build up to seven combustion turbine generators at sites
in Richmond and Rowan counties to be operational in 2001 and 2002.
"CP&L is the anchor load on that pipeline with most of its
generation coming on line in second quarter of 2002, but that may
be no longer the case," said Sonat spokesman Bruce Connery. "They
do not have a need in 2002 in the locations Palmetto was expected
Palmetto Pipeline is in the process of contacting landowners
along the current route by mail regarding this decision. A Scana
spokesman said yesterday the delay was good news for its extension
project, which it feels could serve CP&L's needs at a lower
cost than Palmetto.
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