National Grid Begins Upgrade To Natural Gas Delivery System In Brooklyn And Queens

Brooklyn/Queens Interconnect Improves Reliability, Safety, Meets Future Energy Needs

Mar 22, 2013, 10:43 ET from National Grid

NEW YORK, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- National Grid will begin construction of the Brooklyn/Queens Interconnect project this week, connecting the company's existing distribution systems in Brooklyn and Queens, which will ensure reliability and safety, provide additional natural gas and meet future energy needs for customers. This is the first pipeline to be installed in the area in 50 years.

National Grid will install 1.6 miles of 26-inch and 12-inch coated steel pipeline underneath the Rockaway Inlet beginning at Beach 169th Street in the Rockaways, parallel to the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, to the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Aviation Road in Brooklyn.  The pipelines will be installed in a previously established cable area across the Rockaway Inlet. 

The new 12-inch pipeline will connect National Grid's existing distribution systems in Brooklyn and Queens, providing a back-feed for both areas and ensuring adequate natural gas supplies for the Rockaways.  The 26-inch pipeline will connect to the Williams Transco proposed Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, which will provide a needed additional natural gas delivery point for New York City from the existing Transco system. The Williams project is under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

This project will allow for more conversions to natural gas.  Each conversion is equivalent to taking 15 cars off the road for a year. This additional capacity will give NYC property owners a lower-cost alternative as they consider ways to comply with the NYC's Clean Heat Initiative, which National Grid supports. Economical natural gas is beneficial; heating with gas currently costs less than half of competing fuels.

National Grid's Brooklyn/Queens Interconnect project was reviewed under the New York City Environmental Quality Review Act (CEQRA).  In December 2011 the City issued a Negative Declaration, meaning the project would not have an adverse impact on the environment.  The project also has all other required city, state, and federal approvals.

National Grid and its contractors will use innovative horizontal directional drilling technology to install the pipelines 50 feet below the seabed of the Rockaway Inlet.  Horizontal directional drilling is a trenchless method of installing underground facilities using a drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area.  This portion of the work is expected to be completed in May and will primarily take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p. m. Monday through Saturday. 

Drilling equipment will be stationed both in the Rockaway and in Brooklyn.  In addition, crews will work off to the side of the road to weld the pipe.  Appropriate safety barriers will be installed to avoid interrupting traffic flow and to protect the public and crews.

"We are investing heavily in our gas infrastructure to ensure reliability, safety, and to connect our customers to the energy they need to heat their homes and run their businesses in the most economic manner," said Ken Daly, president, National Grid New York. "This project is critical to provide the additional clean economical natural gas supplies that our customers need; it supports the regional environmental goals, and it will help the local community in its ongoing rebuilding efforts."

The Brooklyn/Queens Interconnect project is expected to cost about $83 million.  The work will be completed in two phases.  The project is scheduled to be completed in November. Updates will be provided as additional work is scheduled.

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it 'joins everything up'.

In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 3,800 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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SOURCE National Grid