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National Grid joins Access Northeast in New England energy project

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World Pipelines,

Eversource Energy, National Grid, Spectra Energy, and Spectra Energy Partners have announced that National Grid is joining Access Northeast, the innovative energy solution for New England, USA, as a co-developer.

Lack of sufficient natural gas pipeline infrastructure in New England is driving electricity prices higher, limiting economic competitiveness and growth, and straining systems to the point where serious reliability issues threaten public safety and security.

Access Northeast is designed to directly meet these challenges while providing environmental and economic benefits. The project will upgrade existing pipeline facilities and market area storage assets in New England to deliver, on peak days, up to 1 billion ft3 of natural gas for electric generation markets. The solution will minimise environmental and community impacts by maximising use of existing pipeline and utility corridors and existing natural gas infrastructure.

"Once Access Northeast is operational, it is projected to save electric customers an average of US$1 billion a year during normal weather conditions and even more during severe cold weather," said Lee Olivier, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Energy Strategy & Business Development at Eversource. "ICF International has estimated savings during the extreme 2013 - 2014 winter could have been US$2.5 billion with Access Northeast in service."

"Our customers are literally paying the price for the pipeline constraints we have here in New England," said John Flynn, Senior Vice President, US Business Development for National Grid. "We are joining Access Northeast to lower energy costs for our customers and to help improve and support the region's economic vitality. This project will play a key role in helping New England achieve a sustainable energy future."

"We're making great progress toward implementing this critical solution, which will expand access to much-needed natural gas for electricity generators in our region," Olivier continued. "Customers are paying dearly due to pipeline constraints. Infrastructure improvements are needed to solve the region's energy challenges and a scalable solution that will enhance existing pipeline systems has numerous benefits."

Access Northeast will enhance the Algonquin and Maritimes pipeline systems, which directly connect to approximately 60% of New England's gas-fired electric generation. The developers have formed an alliance with Iroquois Gas Transmission to enhance this already strategic footprint further, bringing the number of New England gas-fired generators served to more than 70 percent. Simply put, natural gas will get to the region's key, efficient power plants, along mostly existing pipeline and utility corridors.

Edited from source by Elizabeth Corner

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