Learn About Access Northeast
Get information about the Access Northeast project, why the project is needed for the region and other frequently asked questions.
About Access Northeast
- Why is this project important?
A lack of sufficient energy infrastructure in the region is driving electricity prices higher, limiting economic competitiveness and growth, and straining systems to the point where serious energy reliability issues threaten public safety and security. Over the past 15 years, natural gas-fired generation has grown from serving 15 percent of New England’s annual electric requirements to serving approximately half. At the same time, tens of thousands of New England homes and businesses have converted to natural gas heating, while pipeline capacity into the region has not grown. Last winter, New England wholesale electricity costs were nearly double compared with the previous year, largely due to pipeline constraints.
Access Northeast is in direct response to numerous requests from regional stakeholders and governmental agencies in New England for an environmentally responsible, scalable, efficient and effective pipeline project to meet the growth in natural gas consumption that New England has experienced and will continue to experience over the next decade, while keeping energy prices at competitive levels.
Access Northeast’s collaborative solution achieves all of these objectives by providing access to low-cost supply diversity, while minimizing community and environmental impacts through the enhancement of existing infrastructure.
- What is the timeline of this project?
The project's partners continue to pursue a viable commercial and operational model to provide clean-burning natural gas to electric generators in New England in support of the region's emission goals.
- How will this accommodate renewable energy?
Renewable energy is a very important part of the New England landscape. Access Northeast will support renewable energy development by enabling rapid response to sudden changes in power output with regional storage facilities and quick-start natural gas-fueled power generation.
- What regulatory approvals are required?
Access Northeast's partners will continue working with state and federal agencies, as well as other stakeholders, to help close gaps in legal authority that are currently prohibiting the region from achieving its significant environmental goals, as the current system configuration requires the continued operation of older, higher emitting generation units, such as coal and oil plants.