RICHMOND -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) announced plans for a 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to get natural gas from West Virginia, through Virginia to eastern North Carolina.
McAuliffe, Dominion, AGL Resources, Duke Energy, and Piedmont Natural Resources discussed the economic impacts of the proposal at a 10:30 a.m. news conference Tuesday.
Dominion says the pipeline will begin in Harrison County, W.Va., at an existing natural gas transmission facility, then travel southeast through four other West Virginia counties and 13 Virginia counties before entering North Carolina.
Map of the ACP route
Map of Virginia route
A separate, 70-mile extension pipeline will split off from the main pipeline at the Virginia-North Carolina border, traveling eastward through southeast Virginia to that state's Hampton Roads region, which includes Norfolk and other cities served by Virginia Natural Gas, an AGL Resources subsidiary.
In North Carolina, the pipeline will enter the state in Northampton County, travel southwest through parts of Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties before ending at Piedmont Natural Gas transmission facilities in Robeson County.
“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one of the largest projects of its type in the nation and represents a significant investment in our state,” said North Carolina Governor McCrory. “This project will drive economic growth and create much-needed jobs for eastern North Carolina. In addition, this new interstate natural gas pipeline will provide our entire state with new access to abundant, clean, reliable and competitively priced supplies of natural gas.”
The estimated cost of the pipeline is between $4.5 billion and $5 billion. It will require Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, which Dominion hopes to secure by summer 2016. If approved, the project should be in service in late 2018.
Dominion says preliminary survey work and route planning have been under way since May and could be completed by year-end.
Reacting to the news, House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said, "access to natural gas supplies from the Upper Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. The development and construction of the pipeline will create thousands of jobs throughout various regions of the Commonwealth and encourage economic development by keeping energy costs down for Virginia businesses and entrepreneurs."
"I also applaud Governor Terry McAuliffe for his enthusiastic support of this project, despite fierce opposition from many allies of his own party. Natural gas production and infrastructure development, as well as domestic energy production altogether, continues to be a major initiative of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is encouraging to see Governor McAuliffe’s endorsement of those policies and their positive impacts.”