Posted By: NGA | Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:38 | 0
South Burlington and Milton, VT– Farmers, a hard-cider producer and Middlebury College will begin to receive natural gas service sooner than they had expected.
For the first time in the nation, a local natural gas distribution company (LDC) and a "virtual pipeline" provider have partnered to provide natural gas to new customers — in advance of a pipeline extension.
Vermont Gas Systems and NG Advantage LLC have begun construction of a "gas island," consisting of an Off-Loading Station and a small pipeline network that will connect Agri-Mark's Middlebury plant, Vermont Hard Cider LLC, and Middlebury College.
Upon the completion of the "gas island" infrastructure, NG Advantage will begin delivering the same gas that will eventually flow from the pipeline using its "virtual pipeline" – consisting of a fleet of high-tech tractor/trailers. Once Vermont Gas' pipeline reaches Middlebury, NG Advantage will move its Off-Loading Station and trucks to other customer sites.
The "gas island" concept was developed by NG Advantage as a means to provide multiple customers with natural gas service in advance of a natural gas pipeline or in areas where pipelines are not practical.
"Agri-Mark is very pleased to receive natural gas in this transition period due to this innovative transition approach designed by NG Advantage and Vermont Gas," says Doug DiMento, Agri-Mark's Director of Corporate Communications. "Our company continues to look forward to the natural gas pipeline because when completed it will allow us to reduce plant costs substantially for our farmer-owners. In the meantime, we support this creative short-term solution as it will allow us to take a first step with some financial savings to our farmers until the full project is completed."
The "gas island" system will provide the same natural gas used by Vermont Gas to serve its current customer base of 50,000 homes and businesses in Chittenden and Franklin counties. Natural gas is less expensive than oil, cleaner, and sourced in North America.
"We believe this is a first in the US midstream natural gas distribution industry," said NG Advantage's CEO Tom Evslin. "We are on track to begin deliveries in late 2014. When the work in Middlebury is completed, we will be able to serve Vermont Gas' new customers saving them 20-40% off of their fuel bills as well as eliminating 26% of their CO2 and a substantial amount of their SO2 and NOX emissions."
Vermont's Governor Peter Shumlin applauded the project saying, "Vermont companies are committed to lowering their air polluting emissions. NG Advantage has designed a very creative way to help our industries become greener and competitive. Many of the businesses in Addison County find that they have to rely upon fuel oil or propane because they have not had the opportunity to choose natural gas. This new venture is a great economic development initiative to give our industries businesses a choice of natural gas now, as a head start on saving money and lowering their carbon footprint."
We are excited to have Agri-Mark, Vermont Hard Cider and Middlebury College immediately become customers of Vermont Gas," said Don Gilbert, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. "Natural gas will be delivered to their local network by NG Advantage using its high-tech carbon fiber trailers until our pipeline is completed to Middlebury."
"Working in partnership with NG Advantage is a creative model for the gas industry, demonstrating that an LDC can help customers receive the benefits of natural gas as we prepare to extend our infrastructure," Gilbert said.
ABOUT NG ADVANTAGE LLC: NG Advantage is an innovative fuel provider trucking compressed natural gas (CNG) in the U.S. – bringing the economic and environmental benefits of North American natural gas to large institutions and industrial customers without access to a pipeline. The Company's current customers include hospitals, paper mills, asphalt facilities, food processors, industrial dry cleaners, LDCs, and light manufacturing facilities. With a compressor station in Vermont, in southern New Hampshire and a third in permitting in the greater Albany area, the Company currently serves customers in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and eastern New York. The company will expand its service areas in 2015. www.NGadvantage.com
Vermont Gas serves almost 50,000 customers in Franklin and Chittenden counties and is currently working to expand service into Addison and Rutland counties through the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project. The company's long heritage for safe and reliable operations includes its award-winning energy-efficiency programs, which reduce energy use while saving $13 million annually for homes and businesses. For more information about the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project, visitwww.addisonrutlandnaturalgas.com.