PORTLAND, Maine — Houston-based Spectra Energy has filed an application with federal regulators to expand capacity on portions of its natural gas pipeline that passes through Maine on its way from Pennsylvania to the Canadian Maritimes.
Spectra announced Friday that it filed its formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its Atlantic Bridge expansion, which it expects to have online by November 2017.
The company said in its application that the Iberdrola subsidiary Maine Natural Gas and a company affiliated with Summit Natural Gas of Maine have agreed to contracts under the proposed pipeline capacity expansion.
Heritage Gas Ltd., based in Nova Scotia, and the New Hampshire-based Irving Oil Terminal Operations Inc. also signed up for shipments on the pipeline, according to the filing.
Spectra has said the project would help address capacity shortages in New England and reduce price volatility for the fuel for which prices have spiked during winter months.
The Atlantic Bridge project would install new infrastructure, including higher powered compression stations, along the pipeline to allow it to increase capacity on its Pennsylvania-Massachusetts Algonquin pipeline by 132,705 dekatherms per day and on its Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline running through Maine by 106,276 dekatherms per day.
Work on the project would primarily occur in other states. One part of the project would involve modifications to the metering system at a compression station in Westbrook.
The project will involve construction of 6.3 miles of new pipeline in New York and Connecticut.
The announcement comes as Maine utility regulators are considering how to proceed in evaluating whether it should assess a tariff on electricity ratepayers to support expanded capacity on new proposed pipelines.