Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission recently received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to advance its Charleston Project into the construction phase.
The approval certifies that the $119 million project that includes two new natural gas transmission pipelines, a new compressor station and upgrades to an existing compressor station will be environmentally friendly and ensure public safety is prioritized.
“DCGT received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the FERC on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 that confirmed the conclusions from the FERC’s environmental assessment, finding that the project would not have any significant impact to humans or the environment,” Kristen Beckham, external affairs representative for South Carolina's Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, told Palmetto Business Daily in an email.
The approval process included a comprehensive 19-month review of the project proposal including construction and operational impacts, potential environmental impacts, engineering, route alternatives and the project safety, Beckham added.
“Additionally, the public had an opportunity to comment at open houses, FERC scoping meetings and on the FERC docket as part of the project review process,” she said.
FERC oversees the reliable and efficient delivery of energy to consumers and ensures the costs remain reasonable for consumers through appropriate regulatory and market measures.
Construction of the project is scheduled to begin in March, Beckham confirmed.
According to DCGT’s preliminary specifications, the first natural gas pipeline, the Moore to Chappells Pipeline, will be roughly 55 miles long and 12 inches in diameter. The second pipeline, the Dillon Pipeline, will be approximately 5 miles long with a 4-inch diameter.
The existing compressor station will have two 1,400-horsepower compressor units installed, and the new compressor station is set to be constructed with three 1,050-horsepower compressor units.
“The project will help build a stronger economy and a cleaner environment for South Carolina,” Beckham said. “By providing 80,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service, with about 94 percent to South Carolina Electric & Gas for its residential, commercial and industrial customers, this project will help meet the growing regional need for reliable and domestic natural gas.”
DCGT estimates the project will be fully operational by November.
The U.S. is a leader in natural gas production. The invention of new extraction methods has led to a sharp rise in shale gas development, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The department’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report revealed that 6.4 million Americans are employed in the traditional energy and energy-efficiency industries. These industries added more than 300,000 net new jobs in 2016, accounting for 14 percent of the nation’s job growth.
The report also stated that investments in energy transmission, distribution and storage generated 65,000 new jobs last year.
DCGT operates approximately 1,500 miles of transmission pipeline in South Carolina and Georgia. The interstate natural gas transportation company also delivers natural gas to utility companies and industrial facilities in South Carolina.
DCGT is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and FERC.