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Plan to up capacity at Iroquois pipeline site in Athens draws state criticism

By District Energy posted 08-16-2021 12:42


Times Union


New York environmental officials have some pointed questions for the federal government about plans to upgrade a natural gas pipeline that runs through this Greene County community.

The dispute, though, isn’t about plans for a new pipeline. It instead focuses on what might have earlier been an uncontroversial change to an existing line.

The proposal by the Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company for adding compressors to their 414-mile eponymously named natural gas line brings into sharp focus the new considerations that state policymakers are weighing regarding energy infrastructure after passage of  the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which sets ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals in New York state.

The enhancement by compression project would add a new 12,000-horsepower compressor to the 10,000-horsepower one already in place at the Athens pumping station. Additional compressors are also planned in Dover in Dutchess County and Brookfield, Conn, the latter of which is near company’s headquarters.

Iroquois says the expansion would let them increase the flow of gas which runs from the Canadian border through upstate New York and Connecticut to supply New York and Long Island.

Iroquois, as well as the utilities that would distribute the gas to customers — ConEd and National Grid’s KeySpan unit — have argued the extra fuel is needed to keep up with demand downstate.

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