Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC has formally applied to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to build a 564-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.
FERC is being asked to certify the public benefit and necessity of the project. The FERC and a number of participating agencies will examine a broad number of issues, including public safety, air quality, water resources, geology, soils, wildlife and vegetation, threatened and endangered species, land and visual resources, cultural and historic resources, noise, cumulative impacts, and reasonable alternatives.
Four major US energy companies – Dominion (NYSE: D), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY), and AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) – formed Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC to build and own the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The pipeline would transport abundant natural gas supplies from Harrison County, West Virginia, southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Virginia, and south through central North Carolina to Robeson County. Pending regulatory approval, construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2016, and the pipeline is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The 30,000-page application, environmental resource reports, and exhibits – a stack of paper more than 10 feet tall – represent an extensive study by Dominion and outside experts as well as public input to find the best route to bring the much-needed energy to Virginia and North Carolina. Atlantic has considered more than 3,000 miles of potential routes and made hundreds of route adjustments based on discussions with landowners, public officials, and others. Atlantic has participated in more than 60 public meetings involving thousands of interested individuals, agencies and organizations.
Ownership stakes in Atlantic are: Dominion, 45%; Duke Energy, 40%; Piedmont, 10%; and AGL Resources, 5%. Utility subsidiaries and affiliates of all four companies plus PSNC Energy have signed on as customers of the pipeline. Ninety-six percent of the pipeline's capacity is subscribed by these companies.
Dominion has completed surveying about 85% of a proposed route that meets the operational and reliability needs while minimizing the impact on the environment as well as historical and cultural resources. Atlantic will file supplemental information with FERC when surveying is completed and propose a final route.
Dominion Transmission Inc. applied simultaneously to FERC for permission to build its Supply Header Project, a $500 million project of 38 miles of natural gas pipeline and modified existing compression facilities in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The project will provide natural gas supplies to various customers, including the ACP, allowing the transport of natural gas from supply areas in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to underserved market areas in Virginia and North Carolina.