LNG Infrastructure & Resiliency Project

Image of the LNG plant overlooking 4 tanks the footprint for a fifth tank

HG&E is committed to providing cost competitive, reliable services to our customers while taking the necessary steps to balance customers current utility needs with the low-carbon energy future. Our diverse energy portfolio offers customers 95% carbon-free electricity as well as natural gas, the least emitting and most cost competitive heating source for homes and businesses. As part of HG&E’s strategic infrastructure planning and forecasting, we have identified system enhancements at our liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in West Holyoke that will contribute to improved safety, stability, and reliability of HG&E’s natural gas system, as well as reduce local emissions and provide for additional economic development opportunities.

Project Overview

HG&E’s natural gas portfolio is made up of both firm pipeline capacity from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) which is stored at HG&E’s West Holyoke LNG Facility. During peak periods (typically the coldest days of the year when all customers are consuming high levels of energy), the West Holyoke LNG facility supplies approximately 40% of HG&E’s natural gas supply to customers. The facility enhances the reliability and flexibility of our natural gas portfolio - reducing our dependence on a single pipeline source. With increasing peak loads, due to severe weather and other impacts, HG&E is seeking to increase capacity at the LNG facility in order to ensure natural gas service is available when customers need it the most.

Operated by HG&E since 1971, the West Holyoke LNG facility was designed for five storage tanks but only four were installed when the site was developed (see facility image above). HG&E’s current proposal is to install the 5th storage tank on the site, as well as an additional vaporization system, all within the existing facility footprint. The facility has been operating safely and reliably for over fifty (50) years. No new pipelines or infrastructure will be required outside of the boundaries of the existing site. There will be very limited construction and operational impacts related to this project.

HG&E will be seeking approval for the LNG Infrastructure & Resiliency Project from the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), a public process that will begin this fall. If approved, the approximate timeline for commissioning the facility would be in 2025. Consistent with the State of Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, we look forward to working with the community and various stakeholders groups to ensure HG&E maintains the ability to provide dependable natural gas service throughout the energy transition that will occur over the next 28 years. For additional information please contact us at LNGproject@hged.com.

What is Proposed?

HG&E is proposing to install one new 70,000-gallon LNG storage tank at an existing LNG facility and upgrade monitoring and control systems in order to enhance system reliability and safety. There are currently four storage tanks at the facility, in operation since 1971, located in West Holyoke nestled in a large solar installation. The additional controls will provide redundancy and enhanced safety mechanisms. 

In order to reliably meet customers’ energy needs over the next 20+ years, HG&E has developed a non-pipeline solution that would increase our LNG storage capacity within the existing footprint of the West Holyoke facility.

Why LNG?

As a way to ensure reliable energy service to Holyoke residences and businesses, HG&E augments its energy portfolio with LNG. For over 50 years, HG&E has safely operated the Holyoke facility and used LNG, stored in secure tanks, to meet the energy needs of our customers during periods of high demand. The additional controls will provide redundancy and enhanced safety mechanisms. 

The ability to safely store and utilize LNG when system demand is high allows for uninterrupted service when pipeline demand is at capacity. In addition, LNG offers HG&E diversity and flexibility within the natural gas portfolio, reducing our dependence on a single pipeline source and fluctuating market costs.

Where is the Facility?

The LNG facility is located in West Holyoke, adjacent to HG&E's solar projects. The tank would be installed within the existing fence line, requiring no permanent alterations to the surrounding environment and in compliance with all applicable regulations to ensure system, environmental and public safety.

What are the Benefits?

HG&E’s LNG facility has many benefits for customers. Historically the facility was developed to provide supply back-up in the event of a pipeline interruption or constraint and afford customers with the most reliable service. Currently under peak demand HG&E’s system consumes 20,000 dth of gas per day. The existing LNG facility is capable of storing approximately 16,000 dth. Existing demand is 25% greater than available storage capacity. The addition would increase storage capacity to approximately 21,000 dth, sufficient to meet existing customer demand without curtailing firm gas customers in the event of a pipeline interruption.

This project, in combination with aggressive energy efficiency programs, will allow customers to apply for natural gas service when converting from oil or propane. HG&E will evaluate each application and work closely with customers to ensure there is not a viable, cost comparable alternate solution that better positions the community to meet the State's clean energy goals.

A Solution That Supports Our Energy Transition

While natural gas is cleaner, more plentiful, and less costly than other fossil fuels, there is insufficient pipeline capacity in our region to deliver additional load. Recent proposals to expand natural gas pipelines that would increase natural gas capacity in the region have been met with opposition. Current pipeline constraints are causing significant adverse environmental and economic impacts on local ratepayers, resulting in customers turning to less efficient fuels, such as oil and propane to meet their energy needs.

Infrastructure additions to increase storage at the existing LNG facility offers a non-pipeline solution to enhance the reliability and resiliency of HG&E’s natural gas system. In addition, this project is a critical component of HG&E’s overall energy transition and strategic grid modernization strategy. Natural gas will play a key role in the transition to a carbon-free future as it currently provides a lower emissions and lower cost solution for HG&E customers while other clean heating technologies become more efficient and affordable. 

Holyoke Dam & Hadley Station
Cleanenergytransitionsnip.jpg

95% Carbon-Free Electric Supply

  • Carbon-Free Renewable 56%
  • Carbon-Free 39%
  • Other 5%

Well on Our Way to a Carbon-Free Future

HG&E is committed to providing cost competitive, reliable services to our customers while taking the necessary steps to balance customers’ current utility needs with the low-carbon energy future.

Our diverse portfolio offers customers 95% carbon-free electricity as well as natural gas, among the least carbon-emitting fuels. The facility is a unique resource that allows HG&E diversity and flexibility within the natural gas portfolio - reducing our dependence on a single pipeline source and increasing reliability. Natural gas will play a key role in the transition to a carbon-free future as it currently provides a lower emissions and lower cost solution for HG&E customers while other clean heating technologies become more efficient and affordable. 

The Process

HG&E will be engaging the community and meeting with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to discuss the project.

Initial Project Timeline:

  • September/October 2022 – Inform and engage Holyoke community and all stakeholders
  • November 2022 – EFSB Application Submittal
  • November 2022 – January 2024 – EFSB Review Process
  • January 2024 – June 2025 – Procurement, Construction, Commissioning

Pending approvals, it is currently estimated that the project will take two years to construct and complete.

 

  • Contact us for more information!

    LNGproject@hged.com or (413) 536-9300

Contact Info

99 Suffolk Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Tel: (413) 536-9300
Fax: (413) 552-0392
Toll-free: (877) 742-5443
Email