National Grid’s need for new vaporizers questioned by independent consultant

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An independent consultant has finally published its findings on National Grid’s proposal to add two new vaporizers at its Greenpoint facility.

PA Consulting ultimately determined that vaporizers are not currently required.

“Based on National Grid’s existing supply stack and the company’s 2022 forecast, adequate supply exists to meet design day demand through at least the 2026-27 winter season without vapourizers. 13/14”, says the report. “National Grid’s demand forecast has dropped significantly from the forecast in place when the Greenpoint project was originally proposed and planning began.” Design Day refers to National Grid’s planning tool, a hypothetical forecast of the coldest possible weather conditions leading to increased demand.

Community members from across North Brooklyn gather on Manhattan Avenue and Moore Street near the National Grid Metropolitan Reliability Infrastructure (MRI) construction site. Photo: Erik McGregor

The report (a whopping 98 pages) highlights the possibility that the request could be substantiated later, although unlikely based on the current trajectory of natural gas demand in New York State.

“While it does not appear that the increased capacity will be required to meet design day demand (based on AP’s baseline supply and demand forecasts) until at least the 2028-29 winter season, having backup vaporizing capability would benefit operations at Greenpoint,” the report continued.

The report revealed that the subsequent rate hike for customers, which is how National Grid would fund the project, will cost $70 million instead of the previously estimated $65 million.

PA Consulting has made its recommendations to the Civil Service Commission, which is the state’s utility board, who will then decide whether to fund it or not, as the consultant’s recommendation is not binding.

National Grid wants to add two new vaporizers to house liquefied natural gas (LNG), which they say is needed to process more natural gas to meet consumer demand (for more on the issue, see the in-depth report this green pointers done for years).

As part of their campaign to get the vaporizers approved, National Grid representatives had to meet with members of the community. At a town hall in September, National Grid representatives told the crowd that the vaporizers were needed as a replacement for the six vaporizers already there. Local activists pushed back against this narrative and speculated that the vaporizers would act as a backup for a backup. When asked whether or not all vaporizers should be running at the same time to meet demand, National Grid said no.

Healthy Energy Projecta local nonprofit that opposes the project, said via a press release:

“The consultant’s report makes it clear that the Public Service Commission must reject National Grid’s proposed rate hike for two new fracked gas vaporizers. The Department of Environmental Protection must then follow up and reject building permits, permanently stopping this costly and harmful project once and for all. Although the report lacks a proper assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on disadvantaged communities, the public will never stop shouting from the rooftops that these vaporizers would perpetuate a racist legacy of polluting communities. black and brown and contribute to the climate crisis. We are once again calling on National Grid to listen to those they have most seriously harmed and come to our communities with a plan to decommission their LNG facility and shut off gas in the North Brooklyn Pipeline. If National Grid can’t hear us, let’s remind them that hundreds of people are already refusing to pay for Phases 1-4 of the racist North Brooklyn Pipeline, and those numbers continue to rise. The days of going bankrupt so National Grid could profit from dangerous fossil fuel projects are over.

National Grid did not respond to green pointers request for comment.


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