Kinder Morgan, a natural gas pipeline developer, says it is seriously considering an alternative route for a major new pipeline that would bring the line up into New Hampshire. The new route would bury the pipeline almost entirely under power lines in existing rights of way.
Currently, the expansion to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline network is proposed to run through Northern Massachusetts, where it has sparked the concerns of residents.
In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Kinder Morgan identified several alternative routes, which it says it’s investigating.
“It is not perfunctory, and we are seriously considering some of the alternatives,” says Allen Fore, Vice President of Public Affairs with Kinder Morgan.
He notes that the preferred route for the pipeline is still the original proposal, but that could change. The route passing through New Hampshire is especially attractive because 90 to 100 percent of it could be buried beneath power lines.
This map shows the original proposed route (red), and New Hampshire lateral (yellow), along with the alternative route (green). Please note the locations of the line are approximate and by no means final.
“We think those are definitely viable alternatives and we’d like to take a closer look at them,” says Fore.
At least some of the gas would go to New Hampshire customers: Liberty Utilities announced Thursday it would purchase enough gas to heat 65,000 homes through the new pipeline.
Kinder Morgan estimates the new line would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.8 billion dollars, and would require 3,000 construction jobs to complete. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the ultimate authority to okay interstate pipelines, and if the project is approved and meets the timeline it has laid out, it will be in service by 2018.