An aging infrastructure, delays in new pipeline construction, and the economic environment continue to present challenges to local gas distribution companies (LDCs). The concept of a gas island represents a unique approach to address these challenges.
A gas island is an isolated distribution network that provides natural gas service (CNG or LNG) to remote industrial, institutional, and commercial customers who do not currently have access to natural gas. Local, low pressure piping connects facilities to a decompression station, which receives compressed natural gas via a virtual pipeline of tractor trailers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In 2015, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. (VGS) successfully launched the first-in-the-nation gas island in Middlebury, VT by teaming with NG Advantage as its virtual pipeline service provider. VGS supplies natural gas to NG Advantage. NG Advantage then compresses, transports, and decompresses it at the Middlebury gas island. Approximately six miles of piping connect four customers to the gas island, enabling VGS to service them prior to the completion of the transmission pipeline extension.
By building a gas island, LDCs can:
- Serve new customers in advance of planned transmission pipeline extension
- Expand service territory beyond the transmission pipeline to increase sales
- Respond to customers' desire to have access to natural gas as soon as possible
- Address a community's concerns about economic development