NYC Gas Pipeline Project Dies On The Vine After Grid Watchdog Warns Of Reliability Problems

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A pipeline extension project that would have brought natural gas to New York has been cancelled, months after a grid watchdog warned that New York state faces elevated blackout risks.

Oklahoma-based Williams Companies effectively scrapped its plans to build the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline extension project to bring more natural gas to the New York City area, allowing crucial paperwork to expire rather than seeking extensions, according to E&E News. The pipeline extension was intended to increase grid reliability in the New York City area, a region identified by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as at “elevated” risk for blackouts through 2028.

The pipeline extension would have allowed for the transport of natural gas from Pennsylvania to the New York Bay by way of New Jersey, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The project would have required about 23.5 miles of pipeline to be built underwater, and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, fought against the project for the better part of a decade. (RELATED: Biden’s Climate Agenda May Jeopardize Grid Reliability, New Report Suggests)

The extension’s developer had highlighted that the project would make the grid more secure for customers in the densely-populated New York City area, especially those residing in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. At the end of 2023, NERC’S long-term reliability assessment identified New York as a state that faces “elevated” blackout risks through 2028 because its grid system may be unable to meet demand under extreme conditions.

“While Williams continues to believe in the fundamentals of the Northeast Supply Enhancement project and its ability to provide a cleaner and more affordable alternative to costly heating oil for consumers, at this time, we have decided not to pursue an extension of the certificate,” the company told The Associated Press.

New York state’s green energy generation goals for 2030 and 2040 are among the most ambitious of any state’s, and those policies threaten long-term reliability because they are inducing the replacement of reliable fossil fuel-fired capacity with intermittent green generation, power grid experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The state already had a close call with blackouts under extreme conditions when Winter Storm Elliot hit in 2022. The storm disrupted key cogs in the state’s natural gas supply and nearly caused blackouts, an incident that pro-gas interests have pointed to as evidence that the grid needs more gas and pipeline infrastructure rather than less, according to The Times Union .

The office of Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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