Duke Energy Plans 1 Bcf LNG Plant in NC Fed by Marc/Utica Gas

Robeson LNG facility location – click for larger version

Some exciting news from Piedmont Natural Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy. The company recently announced it plans to spend $250 million to build a 1 billion cubic feet LNG storage facility in southern North Carolina, in Robeson County. Gas is liquefied and stored as backup for residential customers to use during periods of high demand–mainly wintertime. And guess which pipeline (now under construction) will terminate right there, in Robeson County? That’s right, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a joint venture between Dominion Energy and Duke Energy. The new LNG facility will also be able to use gas from a second pipeline in the county–Williams’ Transco. The Transco pipeline flows Marcellus gas all the way from northeastern PA. Translation: Marcellus/Utica gas will feed the 1 Bcf LNG plant, an important new (big) customer for our our natural gas…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Radicals Threaten Duke Energy CEO at Her Home

Protesting something like a pipeline is one thing. March around, show your signs, talk to the press, make a horse’s rear-end of yourself. Whatever. But showing up at someone’s home and blocking their driveway and erecting a 20-foot tall tower and refusing to move until arrested? That’s something else. That kind of “protest” is threatening, menacing behavior. Bullying. And it’s all too easy for people who have crossed that line to tip over into outright violence. A group of criminal protesters did just what we described–blocked the driveway and erected a wall in the driveway–of Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good at her home in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday. Duke is partners with Dominion Energy in the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. The criminal protesters showed up at Good’s home to oppose the project. The signs they carried revealed their irrational hatred of fossil fuels, which is what motivated them to protest in the first place. Wackos. Here’s how it went down at Good’s home earlier this week…
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Duke Energy Refiles 13-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipeline Plan

Duke Energy needs to replace an aging pipeline, built in the 1950s, near Cincinnati, OH–or some people in Cincy will have to go without natural gas. Duke has proposed a 13-mile, 20-inch pipeline along two potential routes. The project is called the Duke Central Corridor Extension Gas Pipeline. Both of the proposed routes are opposed by antis, including a group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extensions. Will the DOPEs volunteer to shut off the natural gas to their homes and businesses if the pipeline doesn’t get built? Not on your life! With just weeks before a final approval by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), Duke asked the state to push the pause button last August (see Duke Energy’s 13-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipeline Put on Hold). At the time, Duke said they had “potential concerns” about building the pipeline on a property close to a Superfund site in Reading, should they build it along the alternate route. Those concerns have now been addressed and the project is unpaused and moving forward once again. Duke recently refiled their application to build the new pipeline along the alternate route, with a few tweaks. The usual suspects are turning up to oppose it all over again…
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Duke Energy SC Gas-Fired Plant Starts Up – Marcellus Connection?

W.S. Lee combined cycle gas-fired plant – click for larger version

We spotted news from Duke Energy that the company has begun operations at a brand new natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Anderson County, South Carolina. The W.S. Lee Station is a 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant that began serving customers on April 5. Duke began construction of the $700 million plant in 2015. It sits on the same site as two former coal plants that were shuttered in 2014. A third coal plant at the site was previously converted to burn natgas. Why do we care about a new electric plant launching in SC? Because it’s fed by natural gas, and we believe at least some of (perhaps most of) the gas feeding it comes from the Marcellus/Utica region. According to Duke’s press release, “The unit receives natural gas through a new dedicated pipeline that branches off the transcontinental mainline.” We’re pretty sure they’re referring to the Williams-owned Tranco (Transcontinental) Pipeline that crosses through Anderson County. Transco is the pipeline feeding the new power plant. Transco is bidirectional and increasingly carries Marcellus molecules south–some molecules all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Is Marcellus/Utica Gas Getting Exported from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass?). It stands to reason that it is Marcellus gas feeding, at least in part, this new plant located in Dixie…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Wants 150 NC Workers, $25/Hr + Free Training

Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the $6.5 billion Dominion Energy/Duke Energy pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina has had a few setbacks, but that isn’t stopping construction on the pipeline–in all three states where it runs. On Monday we reported on the latest setback–news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is refusing to extend tree cutting season for the pipeline (see FERC Won’t Extend Atlantic Coast Pipeline Tree Cutting Deadline). According to Dominion, FERC’s decision will not delay the late 2019 start date for the project. In the meantime, there’s work to be done! One of the places where work needs to get done is North Carolina. We spotted a story from NC that says Dominion and Duke are offering to train “more than 150 people” at Nash Community College, and then put them to work building the pipeline, for $19/hour plus $45/day, which we calculate to be a total compensation package of $24.63 per hour. Details below on how to apply for the jobs and get in on the free college training…
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NC Republicans Slam Democrat Gov. for Approving Atlantic Coast Pipe

We’re not quite sure what to make of this story. North Carolina has been, as we’ve long pointed out, nitpicking in an attempt to slow down (or stop) the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from traversing the state (see NC Plays “Death by a Thousand Questions” with Atlantic Coast Pipe). Dominion Energy and Duke Energy are building the $5-$6.5 billion, 594-mile ACP–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina–reaching almost to the border with South Carolina. NC has a Democrat governor, Roy Cooper, whose administration has been hassling ACP for months. But then, all of a sudden, the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality issued permits approving the pipeline–which happened at the same time Dominion and Duke set up a $58 million fund “to protect the environment” in those counties where the pipeline will run. Sure sounds like a $58 million bribe to us, but hey, what do we know? If it gets the job done, it’s a cost of doing business, right? So now NC Republicans, who would normally be in favor of a project like ACP, are crying foul and launching an investigation into NC Gov. Roy Cooper’s $58 million “slush fund,” threatening to hold up work on ACP…
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Duke Energy’s 13-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipeline Proj Unpauses

Duke Energy needs to replace an aging pipeline, built in the 1950s, near Cincinnati, OH–or some people in Cincy will have to go without natural gas. Duke has proposed a 13-mile, 20-inch pipeline along two potential routes. Both routes are opposed by antis, including a group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extensions. Will the DOPEs volunteer to shut off the natural gas to their homes and businesses if the pipeline doesn’t get built? Not on your life! The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) held two public hearings last April, to grant anti-pipeliners the opportunity to vent (see Hearings Scheduled for Proposed Duke Pipeline in Cincinnati). They didn’t disappoint. The DOPEs turned up in force. With just weeks before a final approval by the OPSB, Duke asked the state to push the pause button last August (see Duke Energy’s 13-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipeline Put on Hold). At the time, Duke said they had “potential concerns” about building the pipeline on a property close to a Superfund site in Reading. Apparently those concerns have now been addressed. Duke is about to unpause and refile an application for the pipeline. Let the fireworks begin!…
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Big Green Files Lawsuit Against VA Regulators for Approving Pipe

In December members of Virginia’s Water Control Board voted 4-3 to approve issuing a water permit/certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline Delayed in Virginia by Water Board Vote). ACP is a $5 billion natural gas pipeline project from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina being built by Dominion Energy and Duke Energy. The Water Board’s approval was conditional, the condition being that approval “is dependent on a final review of several environmental studies.” Those studies won’t be done until March or April of this year, meaning in all likelihood the project will be delayed. You would think Big Green groups would have rejoiced at the Water Control Board’s decision, effectively delaying the project. But they didn’t. Instead, a coalition of groups filed a lawsuit late last week against the Water Control Board–for doing their jobs. The groups claim the Water Control Board and the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have not done a good enough job of protecting Virginia’s water resources with respect to the ACP project…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Gets Ready to Build: Union Help, Eminent Domain

We have a couple of important signs that Dominion and Duke Energy, the main sponsors of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, are getting ready to begin building the pipeline. Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. Years after the project filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), it was finally approved by FERC in October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). In November, the U.S. Forest Service granted its blessing for the pipeline to traverse small portions of two national forests (see USFS Approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thru 2 National Forests). Although some of the state water crossing permits are still an issue, it’s a pretty much foregone conclusion WV, VA and NC will not hold up construction of this important project. An announcement from Dominion on Friday to say the company has cut deals with four labor unions for workers, and a story in NC about the pipeline being forced to use eminent domain proceedings with some holdout landowners, combine to paint the picture that this project will soon begin construction…
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Future Plans: Expand in NC & SC

Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. The project will be built by Dominion Energy (lead) and Duke Energy (important partner). Years after the project filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), it was finally approved by FERC in October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). In November, the U.S. Forest Service granted its blessing for the pipeline to traverse small portions of two national forests (see USFS Approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thru 2 National Forests). But the project is not without it’s problems. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People declared the pipeline racist (see NAACP Claims Atlantic Coast Pipeline is Racist, Harms Blacks Most). That’s basically a PR stunt by the NAACP to use as a fundraiser. The more important and troublesome development is in North Carolina, where the state Dept. of Environmental Quality is playing a game of delay with questions (see NC Plays “Death by a Thousand Questions” with Atlantic Coast Pipe). Even with setbacks, the companies building the project appear to be confident it happen. So confident that Duke Energy let leak that once the project is built, it likely won’t end there. Duke says there are “great opportunities” to extend the pipeline into more areas of North Carolina–and even extend it on down into South Carolina…
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Little Green Takes 1st Step in Suing to Block Atlantic Coast Pipe

No doubt being advised and funded by national Big Green groups, a group of backbencher local green groups (Little Green) have taken the first step in what will no doubt turn into a lawsuit to try and stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project from getting built. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Atlantic Coast, a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, in October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). A group of 21 backbencher local green groups located in VA and NC filed a petition with FERC on Monday, asking the agency to “rehear” (reconsider) it’s approval of the project. Among the claims made by the backbenchers: “Federal regulators cut corners, ignored environmental injustice and climate destruction, and usurped state authority in approving construction,” according to NC Warn, one of the backbenchers. Of course all of this is political theater. Grandstanding. Showboating. They don’t really believe FERC will change it’s mind. What happens next is FERC will tell the backbenchers they’re full of beans and to go away, and then the backbenchers can legally file a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Appeals (preferably with the liberal DC Circuit). Filing a petition for a rehearing with FERC is Step #1. Federal lawsuit is Step #2. Below is news about the petition, a copy of the 40-page petition, and a press release from one of the backbencher groups…
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NC DEQ Rejects Plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline – What’s Next?

North Carolina has become the first state to complete an environmental evaluation for Dominion’s proposed $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. ACP is slated to run through eight NC counties. After completing it’s evaluation, the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a rejection letter (copy below) for the project. The reason? The DEQ says the erosion and sediment control plan for the project is not up to scratch. Dominion can now do two things: Revise the erosion and sediment control plan and resubmit it, or contest the DEQ’s rejection of the existing plan. Although antis are rejoicing at the news, there really isn’t much here in the way of news. This is not uncommon in pipeline reviews. A government agency (federal or state) will push back on some aspect of the plan, the project builder will modify the plan, and the modified plan will pass muster and life goes on. That’s the way it works. The DEQ is (presumably) doing it’s job and not simply looking for an excuse to reject the project. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt–this time. Although we’ve not read that Dominion has responded to the rejection, another partner in the project, Duke Energy, has responded–saying they will provide the necessary information the DEQ says is missing in the original plan…
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Dear FERC: Please Approve AC Pipeline in Sept; Love, Dominion+Duke

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy hopes lightening will strike twice. In August, DTE Energy and Spectra Energy (now part of Enbridge), sent a letter to the new FERC quorum urging fast action to approve NEXUS Pipeline, a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada (see NEXUS Pipeline to FERC: Please Approve Project – NOW). A few weeks later, FERC approved it (see New FERC Quorum Votes Final Approval for NEXUS Pipeline). Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, joint owners of the $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina–yesterday sent a similar letter to FERC, requesting speedy action to approve their project. Hey, if it worked for NEXUS…
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Duke Energy’s 13-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipeline Put on Hold

Duke Energy needs to replace an aging pipeline, built in the 1950s, near Cincinnati, OH–or some people in Cincy will have to go without natural gas. Duke has proposed a 13-mile, 20-inch pipeline along two potential routes. Both routes are opposed by antis, including a group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extensions. Will the DOPEs volunteer to shut off the natural gas to their homes and businesses if the pipeline doesn’t get built? Not on your life! The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) held two public hearings in April, to grant anti-pipeliners the opportunity to vent (see Hearings Scheduled for Proposed Duke Pipeline in Cincinnati). They didn’t disappoint. The DOPEs turned up in force. We are just weeks away from a final approval by the OPSB–but then Duke asked the state to push the pause button. Duke says they have “potential concerns” about building the pipeline on a property close to a Superfund site in Reading. So now the project is on hold, which makes the DOPEs happy…
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Sierra Club Asks NC Regulators to Revoke AC Pipeline Contracts

The radicals at the Sierra Club are taking another run at stopping Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project in its tracks–before the first inch of pipe is laid. ACP is a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. This time Sierra Club nutters are using a novel approach to try and stop ACP. They’ve asked North Carolina regulators to revoke approval of affiliate agreements by Duke Energy to use the gas that will flow through the pipeline. The Sierra Club’s argument is that the agreements, signed in 2014, are no longer valid. Duke doesn’t need as much natural gas (for electric generation) as they thought they would. And therefore to stay locked into the agreement would be an unfair burden to Duke’s rate payers. If Duke were to pull out of the deals, the ACP project would collapse, which is what Sierra Club happens. Duke has responded that the gas will be used for more than electric generation. Given that NC now has a Dem governor who doesn’t like fracking (see NC Fracking Remains in Limbo, 5 Yrs After Legislature Approved It), and given that regulatory functions come under the oversight of the executive branch, it does raise a minor red flag that the Sierra Club has launched this latest effort. Will it get traction with NC regulators?…
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