Williams, TC Energy get FERC approval for three pipeline expansions

Williams Cos.’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) received US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorization to construct and operate new pipeline and compression in Chilton and Coosa Counties, Ala., comprising its 150-MMcfd Southeast Energy Connector project.

The project is designed to provide year-round firm transportation service from existing supply points in Mississippi and Alabama to Unit 5 at Alabama Power Co.’s 2-Gw Earnest C. Gaston Electric Generating Plant in Shelby County, Ala. It will involve installation of 1.9 miles of 42-in. OD pipeline loop and a new 11,110-hp Solar Taurus 70 gas-fired turbine-driven compressor. Transco expects it to enter service third-quarter 2025.

Transco told FERC that the Southeast Energy Connector will enable Alabama Power to meet the retail electricity needs of its customers while reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by about 3.1 million tonnes CO2e/year by transitioning Unit 5 from coal service to natural gas. Transco executed a precedent agreement with unaffiliated shipper Southern Co. Services Inc., an agent for Alabama Power, for the proposed project’s full capacity.

A second FERC order authorized Transco’s to build and operate its 105-MMcfd Commonwealth Energy Connector (CEC) project in Mecklenburg, Brunswick, and Greensville Counties, Va. The project will provide firm transportation service for the incremental volumes to Virginia Natural Gas. 

CEC will include installation of a new 33,000-hp electric motor-driven compressor at Transco’s Compressor Station 168 in Mecklenburg County, doubling the station’s horsepower. It will also include 6.35 miles of 24-in. OD loop of Transco’s South Virginia Lateral B-Line, all to be put in service by end-2025.

The order further authorized Columbia Gas Transmission LLC to abandon certain pipeline segments and construct and operate its Virginia Reliability project in Sussex, Surry, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Greenville and Prince George Counties, and the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake, Va.  The project consists of upgrading existing pipeline to provide an additional 100 MMcfd of firm transportation capacity, delivered into Columbia’s system at an interconnection with Transco’s system at Emporia, Va., for redelivery to Virginia Natural for its southeastern Virginia gas market. 

Virginia Reliability will involve replacing 49.2 miles of 12-in. OD pipeline with 24-in. line and installing a 5,500-hp electric-natural gas hybrid compressor at Columbia’s existing Emporia compressor station, increasing its power to 6,800 hp. It will also entail modifying existing compressor units at its Petersburg station to boost horsepower to 8,200 from 2,700. In-service is expected by Nov. 1, 2025.