Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid is proposing to install approximately 7.3 miles of new 16-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline with a maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of 300 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG), and all related appurtenances, within its Eastern New York gas service territory in the Town of Bethlehem in Albany County and the Towns of East Greenbush and North Greenbush in Rensselaer County (Pipeline E37 Reliability and Resiliency Project or the Project).
The Project will begin approximately 885 feet north of the Bethlehem Gate Station on River Road in the Town of Bethlehem, and extend northeast to the Troy Gate Station located on Bloomingrove Road in the Town of North Greenbush. This Project would allow for a more reliable and resilient natural gas system for our existing customers in New York’s Capital Region. The Project will predominantly parallel National Grid’s Reynolds Road – Feura Bush 345 kV electric transmission line 5 (Reynolds Road Line 5). The proposed pipeline and associated workspace will be collocated in the existing cleared corridor associated with the Reynolds Road Line 5.
Pending approval of the needed permits, National Grid
anticipates construction to begin in 2019, with an estimated three-year
The Pipeline E37 Reliability and Resiliency Project is needed to continue safe and reliable natural gas transmission in the greater New York Capital Region. Currently, National Grid’s Eastern Gate natural gas system is supply-constrained and during peak times (the coldest winter days) this can create unfavorable conditions for our customers.
The Albany Loop, which is an existing National Grid transmission main, travels in a horseshoe shape from Troy to Bethlehem. Pipeline E37 would close the Albany Loop, allowing for diverse sources of natural gas to enter the distribution system, therefore enhancing the reliability of the natural gas system that is needed to serve the region. This reliable transmission of gas allows residential and business customers to operate more predictably and efficiently.
The Pipeline E37 Reliability and Resiliency Project is designed to ensure a reliable supply of natural gas to our customers, especially during periods of extreme cold weather. Forecasts show that beginning as early as next winter (2019-2020), we will not have enough gas capacity in eastern New York to meet our customers’ peak-day demand. As more scalable forms of renewable natural gas are made available, they will be delivered to customers through this new infrastructure.
To be clear, National Grid remains committed to advancing new technologies and non-pipeline alternatives. We will continue to pursue renewable gas projects and other innovative technologies across New York. However, we have an obligation to serve our customers today. And the reality is, we just do not have enough gas supply to keep up with the demand in the Greater Capital Region. We need a combination of new, renewable energy and proven, clean energy sources like natural gas to keep up with the pace of this demand.
Without this Project, new customers and economic development projects may go elsewhere or may resort to less clean alternatives such as heating oil. In the near term, we believe this Project will satisfy customer demand, support the region’s economic vitality and prepare us for the clean energy future.
Andrew Kennedy-Center for Economic Growth
Alex Rotolo-Finch Paper
Nick Ignatov-Schenectady Landlord
The project team is working with various state and federal agencies to obtain approval and certification for the project. These include:
The project is subject to Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, which requires an environmental and safety impact review of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State. The Project is subject to subdivision three of PSL Section 121-a of Article VII because it will be a gas transmission facility of greater than 125 pounds per square inch (PSI), will be less than 10 miles long, and will have a diameter greater than 6 inches. National Grid will apply to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate or CECPN) under Section 121-a of the New York State Public Service Law.
Other state agencies, such as the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation are statutory parties to the Article VII process.
If the project is approved, the Project will be constructed in accordance with conditions established by the PSC. Prior to construction, National Grid will inform members of the community, including affected landowners, that construction is to begin and will provide details regarding the timeline and any potential impacts.
National Grid will adopt relevant Best Management Practices from the February 2006 PSC’s Environmental Management and Construction Standards and Practices (EM&CS&P). This document details the environmental management practices and construction measures allowed for these types of projects.
Permits from other agencies and municipalities are required before construction can start.
This Article VII proceeding includes an opportunity for any person to file comments with the PSC.
This may be done through the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) web site. From the home page of the NYSDPS web site (www.dps.ny.gov), click on "Search.” On the Search page, the "Search by Case Number” box should be filled in with the number for this case (19-T-0069). This will bring the user to the main Document and Matter Management (DMM) page for this case. On that page, the prospective party should click the button entitled "Post Comments."
To contact National Grid with a question or comment, click the "Contact Us” link above or the box in the lower right-hand corner. For more information about the Project, please send us an email or call us at 1-518-554-8454.
Yes, several alternatives were considered for this project, including a new pipeline lateral, demand response programs, compressed natural gas (CNG) projects, renewable natural gas (RNG) projects, and taking no action.
The project as proposed represents the least impactful alternative for the public that improves the reliability of our natural gas system and provides relief for the East Gate constraint. For more information on alternatives, please see the Article VII application.
A HDD is a trenchless drilling method for installing utilities under sensitive resources, such as water bodies and roads. It is a three-step process that involves drilling a pilot hole along the predetermined path, enlarging the pilot hole with a reamer, and pulling the pipe back through the hole so it can be connected to the rest of the pipeline.
This construction technique is used in a wide range of settings. This can include smaller scale installations, such as installing cable underneath sidewalks or roads. This technique can be used on larger scale projects, such as installing utilities under water bodies, interstate highways, and highly urbanized corridors. This construction method is one of the preferred ways to cross sensitive areas by regulators, impacted agencies, and municipalities.
During the design phase of the project, detailed plans are created to understand the engineering associated with each unique HDD. These plans incorporate geotechnical investigations, site specific challenges, and constructability of the design. This information is collected and used to create the plans for construction.
Safety is our number one priority at National Grid.
Please visit https://www.nationalgridus.com/Upstate-NY-Home/Natural-Gas-Safety/ or download our brochure for more information on natural gas safety.
Pipeline construction includes several phases and varies depending
on the specific purpose of the pipeline and the topography where the pipeline
is being installed. The general construction process follows the pattern below.
Before any construction can start, the route is surveyed to mark
the construction right-of-way (ROW). It is staked to show the temporary
construction work space and any underground infrastructure that is in the area.
This area is known as the "Limits of Disturbance” or LOD.
After the route is marked, the ROW is cleared to
allow for construction activities. To minimize disturbance of the environment,
only necessary vegetation is removed. After that, the route is graded if
needed. Original contours would be restored as closely as possible during restoration
after the pipeline construction is completed.
After the ROW is graded, the trench can be dug. The soil removed
from the trenching is typically windrowed within the LOD and is used to
backfill the trench. The trench must be deep enough to meet the required cover
per National Grid policy and New York State code. The minimum depth is three
feet below ground surface for transmission pipelines. Additional depth
will be required for road crossings, railroad crossings, and through agricultural
Next, the pipe would be delivered, strung, bent to fit the route,
and then welded together. The pipe is laid out in sections along the ROW. This
process is known as stringing. The pipe is then bent using special machines to
conform to any turns that are along the route. After the pipe is bent, it is
welded together to create a continuous line. All welders on the Project will have the
required certification because quality welding is critical to building a safe
After the ends of the pipe are welded together, every weld is
placed through a testing process to ensure the integrity of the welds. After
the welds are verified, they are coated with a corrosion-resistant epoxy. Once
the coating process is completed, it is placed through an inspection process
known as holiday testing to ensure the integrity of the coating. If any issues
are discovered, they are fixed before the pipe is lowered into the trench.
Once the welds and coatings on the welds are deemed sound, the
pipeline is lowered into the trench. Sidebooms or excavators are used to lower the
pipe slowly into the ground. Fabrication can also occur in the trench as a
tie-in. Once in the pipe is in the trench, the excavation is backfilled with
material that is non-injurious to the pipe coating. The remainder of the trench
is backfilled with the original soil removed during excavation. If the original
soil was rocky, extra steps are taken to screen rocks from the soil prior to
placement back in the trench.
Prior to placing the new pipeline into operation, the entire
installation must be hydrostatically tested in accordance with National Grid,
state, and federal standards. This test verifies there are no deficiencies
before it is placed into service.
Finally, once the pipeline is operational, the restoration of the ROW can start. The goal of restoration is to reestablish original conditions as closely as possible. This involves several steps including the monitoring of the area over an extended period of time to verify the restoration is completed. Activities during restoration may include but are not limited to: removing debris from the ROW, restoring the site to original contours as closely as possible, reseeding the area, stabilizing the soil, installing erosion and drainage features, and adding pipeline markers with contact information to show where the pipeline is and who operates it.
To contact National Grid with a question or comment, click the "Contact Us” link above or the box in the lower right-hand corner.
For more information about the Project, please send us an email or call us at 1-518-554-8454.