Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas has announced the selection of Dominion to build and operate a 550-mile interstate natural gas pipeline from West Virginia, through Virginia and into eastern North Carolina.
Called the “Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” it is expected to serve as a key infrastructure engine to drive economic development and create jobs, helping counties on the pipeline’s route attract new, energy-dependent businesses and industries – especially along the Interstate 95 corridor in eastern North Carolina.
Duke Energy and Piedmont selected Dominion’s project after reviewing submittals by five companies in response to an April 2014 solicitation for proposals to build North Carolina’s second major interstate natural gas pipeline.
The pipeline has an estimated cost of between US$4.5 billion and US$5 billion, an initial capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, and a target in-service date of late 2018.
The project will require Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, which Dominion will seek to secure by summer 2016.
The pipeline’s main customers are six utilities and related companies that collectively will purchase a substantial majority of the pipeline’s capacity to transport natural gas – Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Virginia Power Services Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Virginia Natural Gas, and PSNC Energy.
The purchases will be made through 20-year contracts, subject to state regulatory approval. The pipeline’s owners are negotiating with other potential customers as well.
Gas will be carried through a 42-inch-diameter pipe in West Virginia and Virginia, and a 36-inch-diameter pipe in North Carolina.
In addition to its role as builder and operator, Dominion will be one of the pipeline’s four owners – all based in the Mid-Atlantic or Southeast U.S.: Dominion (45%), Duke Energy (40%), Piedmont Natural Gas (10%), and AGL Resources (5%).