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Northern Natural approved for new stage of Northern Lights gas expansion

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Northern Natural approved for new stage of Northern Lights gas expansion

FERC approved Northern Natural Gas Co.'s Northern Lights 2017 natural gas transportation project to provide additional winter peak-day firm service of about 76,000 Dth/d to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

FERC issued a certificate to Northern Natural, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company, in a Jan. 30 order that included 15 environmental and construction conditions. FERC staff gave the Northern Lights 2017 project, part of a larger Northern Lights expansion project to upgrade the Northern Natural system over years, a positive environmental review in November 2016. Northern Natural applied for the project in June 2016.

Northern Natural made agreements with four shippers for 75,937 Dth/d of incremental winter peak-day firm service starting Nov. 1 in the pipeline's market area. Through the Northern Lights 2017 project, Northern is to provide 50,103 Dth/d to CenterPoint Energy Inc.'s CenterPoint Energy Minnesota Gas, 19,913 Dth/d to Xcel Energy Inc., 5,258 Dth/d to Al-Corn Clean Fuel and 663 Dth/d to Midwest Natural Gas Inc.

Northern Natural has a 14,700-mile pipeline system stretching from southwest Texas to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, divided into a field area and a market area. The market area lies north of a compressor station in Clay County, Kan., and includes pipeline laid out in a grid that receives gas from supply basins through third-party interstate pipelines and Northern Natural's own transmission facilities.

The approximately $44.1 million Northern Lights 2017 project is proposed to install new facilities in Isanti, Sherburne and Rice counties in Minnesota. The project will include about 2.8 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline extending west from the end of the St. Cloud branch line loop; about two miles of 8-inch-diameter pipeline extending south from the end of the Princeton branch line loop; and one 15,900-horsepower, gas-driven compressor unit at the Faribault compressor station in Rice County, which will contribute to Northern's B, C and D lines. (FERC docket CP16-472)