- Spectra Energy and Northeast Utilities will spend $3 billion to expand the Algonquin and Maritimes pipeline systems as part of the Access Northeast project, aimed at boosting electric reliability in the region.
- The expansion will bring 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to New England, with a planned in-service date of November 2018.
- Spectra and Northeast Utilities will be equal partners in the project, with the option of additional investors joining in the future.
The Access Northeast project is designed to complement Spectra Energy’s previously announced Algonquin Incremental Market and Atlantic Bridge projects, all aimed at boosting gas supply in a region that has seen a tightening supply-demand balance. Access Northeast will provide much-needed additional firm supplies to power generators and also allows local natural gas distribution companies to request new access points and lateral pipelines for additional capacity.
Spectra Energy chairman and CEO Greg Ebel labeled the project a "unique solution." The project calls for the companies to partner with existing regional storage assets to provide firm services to electric power plants with guaranteed gas supplies on peak days, and to enable rapid response to sudden changes in power output.
"We’ve had a very positive response from natural gas asset holders as the region comes together for a solution," Ebel said. "This is another step in our commitment to improving power system reliability, reducing electric costs to make the region more economically competitive, and protecting New England’s quality of life by minimizing environmental and community impacts.”