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Con Ed Deal May End Natural Gas Moratorium In Westchester

The gas moratorium in Con Edison may be lifted by 2023.
The gas moratorium in Con Edison may be lifted by 2023. Photo Credit: Con Edison

Con Edison has reached an agreement with an out-of-state natural gas pipeline that will pave the way to ending the gas moratorium in Westchester that took effect last month.

The utility company announced that it has made a deal with the owners of Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which will provide increased natural gas capacity to Con Edison’s distribution system in Westchester, though the moratorium won’t be lifted until November 2023.

Under the agreement, Tennessee Gas Pipeline would provide the increased natural gas capacity to Con Edison’s distribution system in Westchester by upgrading compression facilities on its system outside of the state. The upgrades will enhance the capability of the existing pipelines to transport incremental natural gas supplies for Con Edison.

Earlier this year, Con Edison announced that the demand for new gas has surpassed its limits in southern Westchester, prompting them to stop accepting new customers beginning on March 15.

“This project offers a reasonable, sensible approach to allow an orderly transition to the renewable energy future we all desire,” Tim Cawley, president of Con Edison said. “The solution provides the time needed to improve non-pipeline technology and make it widely available.

"The additional natural gas capacity will continue to support economic growth in our region, while reducing reliance on heating oil and the need for locally delivered compressed and liquid natural gas.”

Con Ed said that they are still developing additional programs through Smart Solutions proposals to the NY Public Service Commission, and are working with NYSERDA, which offers incentive programs for clean energy solutions. Heat pumps, solar thermal and baseboard electric heating are among the alternative solutions that can meet some customers’ heating needs.

When they announced the moratorium, Con Ed said that “the demand for natural gas in our service area has been experiencing significant growth primarily due to the construction of new buildings, the opening of new businesses, and conversions from oil to cleaner-burning natural gas in existing buildings,” they posted on their website. “But all of this new demand for gas is reaching the limits of the current supplies to our service area.”

According to Con Edison, “between the company’s announcement of the moratorium and its start on March 16, (the company) received 1,600 applications for firm gas service in the moratorium area. Demand for natural gas in New York City and Westchester County has grown significantly in recent years. This has been due to conversions of heating systems from oil, as well as economic growth, with developers preferring natural gas in new buildings.”

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