Delmarva Power applies to PSC for natural gas storage site south of New Castle

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Delmarva Power has filed with the Delaware Public Service Commission for a  natural gas storage system at its Red Lion substation site near south of New Castle.

Delmarva offered  the following details

  • Five-acre facility
  • Located in southeastern New Castle County
  • $40-million investment in the local natural gas delivery system that will save customers an estimated $124 million over 30 years
  • Construction slated  to begin in 2020 and completed in 2021
  • Meets highest established standards for critical infrastructure protection and safety
  • 500,000-gallon capacity, enough to supply about 25,000 homes for a day and half

“We are committed to providing our natural gas customers with safe, reliable, and affordable service,” stated Delmarva spokesman Jake Snedden “The proposed natural gas storage project will enhance reliability, save customers money by reducing the cost of delivering natural gas on the coldest days of the year, and continue our efforts to modernize our natural gas delivery system that serves 134,000 customers in New Castle County. As natural gas consumption increases during the winter season, facilities, like this one, are important resources in meeting growing demand and maintaining affordable service for our customers.”

Snedden said a public outreach effort will be undertaken by Delmarva to further explain the proposed project. 

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In addition to a large substation, the  Red Lion site also houses one of two Bloom Energy fuel cell sites in northern New Castle County. The other site is in the Brookside area south of Newark. 

The proposal for the liquified gas storage area comes as Delaware sees growing demand for natural gas in its northern New Castle County system. Natural gas has gained a competitive edge as new supplies come online in neighboring Pennsylvania.

Companies like DuPont have converted to natural gas and Delmarva has been expanding its distribution system into residential areas that typically are heated with fuel oil. 

To the south, Dover-based Chesapeake Utilities has been adding commercial and residential natural gas customers and expanding its pipeline system. 

Natural gas safety issues have been in the news, due to explosions in homes supplied by a Massachusetts utility. However, the explosions had no ties to storage systems that can be tapped during peak use periods.

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