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Dominion pipeline expansion serving Ohio power plant approved by FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Dominion Energy Transmission Inc. authorization to build the 150,000-Dth/d West Loop pipeline project, which will ship regional shale gas supplies to a new gas-fired combined-cycle power generation facility in eastern Ohio.

At a Dec. 19 meeting, FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Bernard McNamee voted for the West Loop project, with McNamee writing a separate concurrence. Commissioner Richard Glick dissented in part. Glick, a Democrat, has disagreed with his Republican colleagues on the depth of the commission's analysis of greenhouse gas impacts related to gas transportation projects, among other issues.

Talking about FERC accomplishments in 2019 at the last open meeting of the year, Chairman Chatterjee said the commission has "approved 954 miles of pipeline connecting low-cost gas to American homes and businesses across the country, certificating four new pipeline projects today" and two pipeline replacement projects. Chatterjee also said the commission was at the "vanguard" in the effort to get U.S. gas overseas with its approvals of LNG export projects in 2019.

The West Loop project will allow Dominion Energy Inc.'s Dominion Energy Transmission to provide firm gas transportation service from a primary receipt point at an interconnection with the Texas Eastern Transmission LP system in Greene County, Pa., to a primary delivery point on the Dominion system in Ohio known as Dominion South Point. The project will put in place 5.1 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop and other equipment.

Dominion Energy Transmission applied for the project a year ago, filing an abbreviated application Dec. 18, 2018. At the time, the company said it wanted to start construction of the project, estimated to cost about $94.2 million, in December 2019 to meet the project customer's requested in-service date of around July 1, 2021. The project cleared an environmental review by FERC staff in May.

The pipeline expansion would provide the gas transportation service to the South Field Energy power plant in Wellsville, Ohio. The four units at the 1,182 MW plant are under construction and due online in June 2021.

The Dominion order was one of six commission decisions in gas project dockets Dec. 19. The order was not available in the FERC online library as of press time. (FERC docket CP19-26)