Fields Point — fact versus fiction

Article:

Fields Point — fact versus fiction

Fields Point — fact versus fiction

Fields Point, Providence

"Here’s the bottom line — we all want a clean energy future. At National Grid, we believe in that future and are working hard to achieve it."

Timothy Horan, president and COO, National Grid Rhode Island

Insight:

Since 2013, National Grid has been ranked among the top 10 U.S. utilities for interconnecting the most renewable energy systems.

Source: Solar Electric Power Alliance

The op-ed below from Timothy Horan, president and chief operating officer of National Grid in Rhode Island, was published in The Providence Journal. See the original article here

At National Grid, our job is to provide you with electricity and natural gas safely, reliably and as cost effectively as possible to power your daily life and keep you warm during the winter. It’s also our responsibility to help Rhode Island achieve its energy policy goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We’ve been working hard to create a clean energy future. We’re playing an important role in the development of the nation’s first offshore wind farm by connecting the Block Island Wind Farm to the mainland grid. We’re a proud supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. We’ve proposed transmission projects that will deliver large amounts of wind and hydroelectricity to New England.

Our energy efficiency programs have placed Rhode Island among the top 10 most efficient states for several years running. Since 2013, National Grid has been ranked among the top 10 U.S. utilities by the Solar Electric Power Alliance for interconnecting the most renewable energy systems.

While significant progress is being made, the reality is we can’t immediately shift to an all-renewable energy supply. There simply isn’t enough available to serve all customers. As we continue to invest in and develop more clean energy supplies, we need to rely on natural gas to maintain the reliability and security of our energy system during this transition.

This is why we have proposed installing liquefaction equipment at our existing Fields Point facility, and are working with the proper federal and state authorities to license the project. Here are some important facts to reinforce about the project:

* The existing storage facility has served our customers safely and reliably for more than 40 years. Liquefied natural gas plays a critical role in providing adequate natural gas supplies during the winter, when demand is highest.

* The equipment we’re proposing to install will merely change the way we fill the existing tank. For the past 40 years, we have trucked in liquefied natural gas from facilities that rely on supplies from outside the U.S. The equipment will enable us to fill the tank from the existing distribution system. It will benefit customers by enabling us to access reliable domestic natural gas supplies at more stable prices.

* The amount of LNG stored at Fields Point will stay exactly the same. The only way to increase the amount of LNG stored at Fields Point is to increase the amount of on-site storage. We’re not doing that; we’re simply proposing to change how we fill the tank.

* The cost of this project will be spread over 20 years. It will replace costs currently built in to rates. It will be a secure domestic resource that will reduce the price volatility experienced in recent years when purchasing LNG from foreign sources.

* The only substance required for the liquefaction process is nitrogen, a safe element that makes up about 80 percent of the air we breathe. Some have claimed that we are planning to use hazardous chemicals in our liquefaction process. The equipment we are proposing to use at Fields Point does not require the use of any hazardous chemicals. Period.

Here’s the bottom line — we all want a clean energy future. At National Grid, we believe in that future and are working hard to achieve it, while continuing to meet your energy needs based on the reality of today. That means delivering the electricity and natural gas you rely on for your daily lives safely, affordably and reliably. Natural gas is the bridge that will get us to our clean energy future, while meeting our present-day energy needs.

Timothy F. Horan is the president and chief operating officer of National Grid in Rhode Island.

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