American Gas - November 2013 - (Page 16)

As a result of Superstorm Sandy, some 31,700 NJNG customers lost service-and a lot more. In its filing with the state Board of Public Utilities, the company said it will seek to recover the costs of the NJ RISE projects through annual base rate adjustments. As a result of Superstorm Sandy, approximately 31,700 of NJNG's 500,000 customers lost service. In the eight weeks that followed, the company repressurized or replaced more than 270 miles of main and replaced or rebuilt 51,000 gas meters. Recovery cost can estimated $76.3 million. "What we've learned from several recent weather events, particularly Sandy, is that our infrastructure will be tested more often and with greater force and severity than ever," New Jersey Resources Chairman and CEO Laurence M. Downes told American Gas. "NJ RISE will allow us to make specific investments in our system that will not only improve safety and reliability, but will make the system far more resilient in the aftermath of such devastation." -J.P.T. long island Big Buoys An unusual LNG facility could reduce gas price spikes in New York PorT AmbroSe, nY-Liberty Natural Gas is seeking federal approval for a LNG import facility off the coast of Long Island and New Jersey that it says would operate during peak demand and reduce the average annual price of natural gas in the New York City area by 4 percent. Under the New York-based energy company's plan, two submerged buoys-each 33 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter-would be located 20 miles off the coast of Jones Beach on Long Island. Ships known as shuttling and regasification vessels would connect to a buoy, then regasify the LNG onboard before pumping it into a new 22-mile subsea pipeline. That pipeline will connect onshore with the Transco Lower New York Bay Lateral Pipeline that currently serves New York City and Long Island, Liberty CEO Roger Whelan told American Gas. Each delivery will provide an average of 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough to provide energy to 1.4 million homes, 16 AmericAn GAs november 2013 Whelan said. Most of the deliveries would occur during January, February, and March, when the region typically experiences shortages that have led to drastic price spikes. In a report commissioned by Liberty, ICF International estimated that the offshore port, named Port Ambrose, would help stabilize prices and save New York area natural gas consumers up to $325 million a year. Whelan says it would be cost-prohibitive to build an onshore pipeline in the Northeast that only operated three months out of the year. He said Port Ambrose would cost about $300 million to build and the regasification vessel to serve it would cost another $300 million. Whelan said that in the short term the LNG would likely come from Trinidad and Tobago. Port Ambrose would be part of an international network of offshore regasification ports, including Port Meridian, which Liberty is currently developing off the west coast of England. The Port Ambrose project has been vigorously opposed by several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of New Jersey and Clean Ocean Action, which says it would deepen the region's reliance on fossil fuels. Some have said they believe it will be turned into a facility to export domestic LNG from the Marcellus Shale, a claim Whelan calls a "red herring." Port Ambrose would only be licensed as an import facility, and the cost to convert it for export would be in the billions. "Anyone who understands this technology knows you're not going to have an LNG export facility sitting off the coast of New York City," Whelan said. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration are currently conducting environmental reviews of the project. Even if it does receive federal approval, it could be vetoed by either the New York or New Jersey governor. In 2011, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed another Liberty proposal to build a deepwater port off the coast of New Jersey. But Whelan said he is optimistic that Port Ambrose could get the go-ahead as soon as 2014. He said the earlier proposed port would have been much larger and closer to shore. "We learned a lot from our past experience, and now we've got good New York City and state support," he said. "This is a different time and a different project." -J.P.T.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - November 2013

American Gas - November 2013
President’s Message
Subject Index
Head Start: On Energy Education
By the Numbers
Need to Know
The Wheels on the Bus...
New Jersey
Long Island
Fueling the Future
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
A Tight Ship
Expanding the Reach of the Gas Infrastructure
Company Profiles

American Gas - November 2013