Access Northeast Pipeline — Pulling Ahead of Kinder’s NED Project?

Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast pipeline project is shaping up to be a worthy competitor to Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a project they call Northeast Expansion Direct (NED). On Wednesday, Spectra announced a new partner for Access Northeast–National Grid–along with an open season to sign up more potential customers–mostly electric generating companies (called LDCs or Local Distribution Companies) that use natural gas to fire their plants. The new partnership means Spectra has locked up electric generating plants that serve 70% of all the electric customers in New England–and they’re trying to get even more. Spectra is also trying to build as little new pipeline as possible, using looping (new pipeline laid next to existing pipeline) in areas where extra capacity is needed. Below we have the announcement about the open season and National Grid joining the project, a copy of the Access Northeast project map, and a brand new study by ICF commissioned by the Access Northeast partners that details how this project will save New Englanders $1 billion+ per year in electric costs. We also throw in a few of our own observations on this bold plan and whether or not the region can support both the Access Northeast and NED projects…

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