The Texas-based energy company that wants to build a natural gas pipeline through southern New Hampshire into Massachusetts announced Thursday that it has lined up utilities and other entities to transport the gas.
Kinder Morgan said its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, now has commitments from National Grid, Liberty Utilities, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Connecticut Natural Gas Corp. and other anchor shippers to transport about 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The pipeline's capacity is from 1.2 billion to 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
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The gas from the Marcellus Shale fields in the Northeast would travel from Wright, New York, to Dracut, Massachusetts.
The Northeast Energy Direct pipeline would stretch across 70 miles of New Hampshire, mostly along an existing power line corridor, to bring gas to markets in New England that currently have limited pipeline capacity and high costs.
"We are pleased that a broad range of New England market participants have declared, through binding contractual commitments, the clear need for an expansion of TGP to provide a transformative solution to reduce energy costs and enhance gas and electric reliability in New England," said Kimberly Watson, president of Kinder Morgan's East Region Natural Gas Pipelines. "Together with our shippers, we have worked hard to develop a regional solution that is a win-win for New England."
The pipeline proposal drew heavy criticism when it was proposed to cut through Massachusetts as residents along the route feared environmental harm and lower property values. The criticism has shifted north to New Hampshire where opponents also said a gas pipeline will only slow investment in renewable energy sources and prolong the region's reliance on fossil fuel.