Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources form joint venture to own Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline
In a press release issued on September 2nd, Director of Communications Jim Norvelle announced that Dominion Resources is forming a joint venture with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.
According to Norvelle’s press release, these four major U.S. energy companies would build and own the proposed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, initially proposed by Dominion as the Southeast Reliability Project. The $4.5 billion to $5 billion, 550-mile natural gas pipeline would run from West Virginia, southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., then south through central North Carolina to Robeson County.
Dominion would build and operate the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on behalf of the venture. The joint venture ownership stakes are: Dominion, 45 percent; Duke Energy, 40 percent; Piedmont, 10 percent; and AGL Resources, 5 percent. Subsidiaries and affiliates of all four joint venture partners plan to be customers of the pipeline under 20-year contracts, pending regulatory approvals. PSNC Energy also plans to be a customer of the pipeline under a 20-year contract, pending regulatory approvals.
Dominion has been surveying in areas, including Pocahontas and Highland Counties, to determine the best route.
Groups like The Greenbrier River Watershed Association and WV Highlands Conservancy have stated that the pipeline would lead to negative impacts on residential properties as well as water bodies and scenic areas.
The pipeline would cross both the Monongahela National Forest and the George Washington National Forest in areas where there are ongoing trout and red spruce restoration projects. The pipeline would also cross numerous watersheds, rivers, streams, and springs, including the Tygart Valley River, Shavers Fork of the Cheat and West & East Forks of Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier River Watershed Association and WV Highlands Conservancy also noted that Dominion has never constructed a 42” pipeline, and there appears to be no precedent for a pipeline of this size across steep forested terrain like the Alleghenies. It would go straight up and down mountainsides which range from 3,400 to 4,700 feet in West Virginia and from 3,000 feet to 4,200 feet in Virginia.
Dominion Resources plans to make a pre-filing request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this fall on behalf of Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC. It expects to file its FERC application in the summer of 2015, receive the FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in the summer of 2016, and begin construction shortly thereafter.