MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Hope Gas has asked the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) for permission to move forward with its plan to build a 30-mile-long natural gas pipeline across Monongalia County, in order to meet rising demand in the Morgantown area, the home of its recently-opened headquarters.
According to a public document published by the PSC on Friday, Sept. 22, Hope Gas filed an application for a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” regarding Hope’s plans to construct “new and uprated” pipeline facilities that are planned to be adjacent to the existing infrastructure in Monongalia and northern Marion counties.
The specific plans of the pipeline aim to expand the service of Hope Gas’ primary line through a connection with Columbia Gas line 1983 near Wadestown. The proposed line consists of 16-inch diameter steel pipes and plans to run eastward across Monongalia County, temporarily move into northern Marion County, and then change direction at a proposed “Black Knight” Measurement & Regulation facility at the edge of Morgantown before moving northward to a connection near Osage.
The document said that approximately 14.5 miles (roughly 48%) of the project will run parallel to existing lines, which Hope said “allows for grouped utilities and makes the most of an existing corridor.” The planned junction at the existing Columbia pipeline will be constructed by Columbia for a redacted amount; all monetary values in the document were redacted.
Hope Gas said in the document that the new facilities are meant to increase the delivery of gas supply to the Morgantown area, and its completion will increase the reliability of service to “critical public services,” such as Ruby Memorial Hospital. Hope also foresees that the project has the potential to create 600 construction jobs, and it does not plan to change its rates or implement a surcharge in order to fund it.
The PSC recently approved a Hope Gas program that looks to replace more than 1,000 miles of piping with plastic or coated steel pipes over a 24-year period. It is unclear if the existing system that this project plans to work off of is in need of these replacements.
Hope is looking to receive approval by June 2024. If approved, construction would begin by Nov. 1, 2024, with mainline construction beginning in the first quarter of 2025. Hope plans to have the facilities ready and in service on or before Nov. 1, 2025, with additional restoration and cleanup operations running until the second quarter of 2026.
You can find the full document below: