FERC issued a favorable preliminary determination on non-environmental grounds Wednesday to Northwest Pipeline’s proposed 49-mile Grays Harbor Lateral, which would deliver up to 161,500 Dth/d of gas to Duke Energy Grays Harbor LLC’s proposed power plant in the state of Washington. The $75.2 million pipeline project includes two 16-inch diameter taps and would have 4,700 hp of compression from the Turnwater Station.

Duke broke ground last month on the $300 million electric power generating facility in Grays Harbor County, WA, about 32 miles west of Olympia. The facility, located in the Satsop Development Park, would be a 650 MW combined-cycle power plant designed to supply electricity to the state and regional wholesale markets by mid-2003, with enough energy to light and heat about 600,000 homes. It would be constructed on a site acquired from Energy Northwest, located next to the closed Satsop nuclear plant projects. Although the nuclear plants were never operational, the new plant would use some of the same site facilities associated with the partially completed plants, including the electric transmission and water systems. Energy Northwest would operate and maintain the facility when construction is completed, and it has an option to purchase a portion of the plant’s output.

The proposed Grays Harbor Lateral would extend from Northwest’s mainline near Vail, WA. The first 36 miles would parallel Northwest’s existing Olympia and McCleary laterals.

Duke has signed a long-term agreement for up to the full 161,500 Dth/d of firm capacity on the lateral, which is scheduled to be in service in November 2002.

Because Duke still has the option to cancel its agreement prior to the start of construction on the lateral, the Commission conditioned the lateral’s construction on Northwest having executed final contracts at that time with either Duke or an alternative shipper for the lateral’s firm transportation capacity and payment of all of the associated facility costs.

FERC dismissed claims by BP Energy that the proposed lateral’s new load might increase the strain on Northwest’s system, which relies on displacement capacity. The lateral “will not have an adverse impact on Northwest’s requirements for displacement capacity, particularly since the new load will replace an existing load in the same proximity on Northwest’s mainline facilities,” the order said [CP01-361]. “Essentially, the operational status quo on Northwest’s system would be maintained.”

The Grays Harbor Lateral is one of four expansions proposed by the Williams subsidiary. The expansions include the $200 million Evergreen project, a 26-mile mainline expansion in Skagit, King and Pierce counties that would add compression at eight existing stations to provide 276 MMcf/d of new firm transportation capacity for new power generation in Washington. Other projects include the Georgia Strait Crossing and Everett Delta. Georgia Strait is an 85-mile international pipeline extension from Sumas, WA, to Vancouver Island, BC, that is designed to serve two proposed new cogeneration plants on the island. The $120 million project would transport about 100 MMcf/d.

The Everett Delta project is a nine-mile, 20-inch lateral pipeline in Snohomish County, WA, that would deliver gas to a proposed FPL Energy 248 MW gas-fired power plant about 45 miles northwest of Seattle. It also would deliver gas to the distribution system of Puget Sound Energy. Capacity would be about 133,000 Dth/d, and the cost is pegged at $17.2 million. The project is scheduled to be in service in August 2002.

©Copyright 2001 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.