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Dominion Energy Cove Point shrinks pipe project, drops power plant customer

A Dominion Energy Inc. subsidiary is seeking an amendment to its Eastern Market Access pipeline expansion that would eliminate a compressor station in Charles County, Md., and scale back natural gas transportation capacity from 294,000 Dth/d to 150,000 Dth/d.

In so doing, Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG LP will drop Mattawoman Energy LLC from its lineup of customers for the project, leaving Washington Gas Light Co. as the sole customer subscribed to all of the remaining gas transportation capacity. Washington Gas Light will use the capacity to serve utility customers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Dominion spokesperson Karl Neddenien said in a May 8 email that Dominion Energy Cove Point and Mattawoman Energy "have agreed that Mattawoman Energy will no longer be a customer" on the amended project.

Mattawoman Energy, backed by Panda Power Funds LP, had planned to build a 990-MW power generation facility in Prince George's County, Md., the Mattawoman Energy Center. A Panda Power representative did not respond to a request for a status update by press time.

In October 2018, Dominion Energy Cove Point announced its plans to cancel the Charles Station compressor station. The company had fought with Charles County in federal court after a county board denied a zoning exception that would have allowed the construction of the facility on a 50-acre site. Landowners and environmental groups had fought the project.

Maryland-based group AMP Creeks Council credited grassroots work for a "rare decisive victory against energy giant Dominion Energy Cove Point," according to a May 7 news release. The group celebrated the development as a sign that "the long-beleaguered Mattawoman power plant may not be built after all."

Dominion Energy Cove Point asked for the amendment to its Natural Gas Act certificate for the Eastern Market Access project in a May 6 abbreviated application. The amendment would officially eliminate authorization for the Charles Station compressor station from the certificate. The certificate also covered other facilities and modifications in Maryland and Virginia designed to boost the capacity of the 88-mile pipeline that terminates at the Cove Point LNG terminal in Lusby, Md. The Dominion company told FERC the change would reduce the project's environmental impacts and reduce customer rates. It asked the commission to issue a final order approving the amendment by July 15.

FERC issued the certificate in January 2018. In the amendment application, Dominion Energy Cove Point told FERC it completed construction on all the facilities needed to provide the amended project capacity and would like to place the project in service "as soon as possible." (FERC docket CP17-15)