With the completion of two natural gas pipeline projects, Williams is helping New York City meet its clean-air goals. The company announced May 15 that it has placed into service its Rockaway Delivery Lateral and Northeast Connector projects, increasing natural gas delivery capacity to Brooklyn and Queens.
With a daily delivery capacity of 647 million cubic feet (MMcf), the Rockaway Delivery Lateral provides an additional supply-delivery connection between Williams’ Transco transmission pipeline and the National Grid distribution system, which provides local natural gas service to 1.8 million customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. The Rockaway project adds 3.2 miles of new Transco pipeline and related facilities in New York. The Northeast Connector project consists of equipment to increase compression at three existing Transco facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and provides 100 MMcf per day of firm transportation capacity from Transco’s Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania to the Rockaway Delivery Lateral.
The projects were developed to help meet the long-term clean energy needs of New York City while significantly enhancing reliability and serving growth on the National Grid system. The Rockaway Delivery Lateral project was specifically cited in New York City’s PLANYC 2030 as an important part of achieving the city’s goal of eliminating the use of high sulfur fuel oil and realizing some of its clean-air goals.
“As we learned during Superstorm Sandy, and were harshly reminded during these past two record setting cold winters, a reliable and resilient supply of energy is critical to the local New York and Long Island communities we serve,” said National Grid New York President Ken Daly. “National Grid’s partnership with Williams has enabled us to bring in the first new supply of clean natural gas in decades, which will allow us to meet the energy and environmental needs of customers for many years to come. This new pipeline builds upon our commitment to support the Rockaway communities, as we did in the aftermath of Sandy by awarding economic development grants to thousands of customers and local businesses, as well as rebuilding the entire Breezy Point gas network.”
Most of the Rockaway pipeline lateral was constructed offshore using subsurface directional drilling technology, allowing Williams to avoid all impacts to the beach, near-shore areas, as well as onshore portions of Jacob Riis Park. In addition, Williams coordinated with the National Park Service to develop a plan to place a state-of-the-art, 60,000-sq-ft meter and regulator station inside two of the abandoned airplane hangar buildings on Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Williams has partnered with the Park Service to rehabilitate the exterior of the hangars to their historically accurate original condition. At the same time, the agreement generates lease payments paid by Williams to the Park Service that can be used to address other critical park needs, including natural resource protection and enhanced visitor services.
“These were extremely unique projects, balancing the many challenges of siting new pipeline infrastructure in a mature urban area,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “Our team demonstrated tremendous creativity and innovative thinking to execute these important projects in a responsible, environmentally-sensitive manner to deliver much-needed gas supply to New York City. We were very fortunate to once again be able to work with and serve such a quality, experienced customer as National Grid.”
Transco, the nation’s largest-volume and fastest-growing interstate natural gas pipeline system, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, of which Williams owns 60 percent, including the general-partner interest. Transco delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system is a major provider of cost-effective natural gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.