The principal owner of a major natural gas pipeline that runs through Maine and into Atlantic Canada has proposed expanding it's capacity into the New England market to meet critical demand for reliable electric power generation.
Richard Kruse is a vice president with Houston-based Spectra Energy. He says for the last several years New England has had pipeline constraints.
"Pipelines are running 100 percent full to serve both the local distribution companies as well as prior generation needs," he says.
Kruse says the company would use the existing pipeline footprint and, in the case of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, the expansion might not be all that complicated. He says it would involve reversing the flow.
"It currently flows north to south and we would need it to flow south to north," he says. "And it may not require additional pipeline facilities - maybe some slight modifications, but nothing necessarily intrusive on the existing stakeholders."
The company says plans are to add up to a billion cubic feet per day of total capacity to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline and the Algonquin Pipeline to the south.