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Rockland Council to hold meeting on natural gas project

By Stephen Betts | Feb 10, 2021
This was a flier sent out by Summit Natural Gas last week.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council has scheduled a meeting to hear about the proposal to extend natural gas lines to Rockland.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, and will be held via Zoom. The meeting can be viewed on Spectrum government access channel 1303. People who want to comment can join the meeting with the meeting ID number 836-9004-3712 and the password: 847149.

The public can also comment by sending an email to City Manager Tom Luttrell at prior to the start of the meeting.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine announced Feb. 5 that it plans to extend its service into the Midcoast with a $90 million investment.

The company said in a news release Feb. 5 that its expansion to Knox and Waldo counties would bring natural gas to residential and commercial customers in communities along the Route 1 corridor including, Belfast, Camden, Rockland, Rockport and Thomaston."

Summit said hopes to break ground on pipeline in the fall.

Chace Jackson with Summit said Feb. 5 that in addition to running a pipeline down to the Midcoast communities, there will also need to be two regulator stations that will each sit on a half acre to one acre parcels and are used to convert the high pressure gas to lower pressure that can then be distributed to neighborhoods.

He said one station would likely be in Belfast or very close to Belfast and the other centrally located to Rockland, Thomaston, Camden and Rockport. Jackson said the regulator centers would likely be sited in an industrial or business park.

Service is expected to start for residential and commercial customers in late 2022 following the completion of an initial phase of the project.

In May 2015, Rockland Energy Center LLC., which was affiliated with Energy Management Inc. of Boston, came to the city proposing a natural gas power plant to be located at the City Hall and adjacent Public Works garage property. That plan was met by considerable opposition by the public and the company dropped its plans.

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Comments (5)
Posted by: Dale E. Landrith Sr. | Feb 12, 2021 12:28

Doubling down on reduction in fossil fuel greenhouse gases

Posted by: Gregory D Kibitz | Feb 12, 2021 08:19

Nothing like doubling down on more 19th century fossil fuel derived greenhouse gas producing technology.

Posted by: Dale E. Landrith Sr. | Feb 11, 2021 10:59

Folks who would like to fight any thought of fossil fuels need to engage reality.  We are not going total electric in the measurable future, if ever.  The United States has already had a reduction in greenhouse gases that surpasses what was required in the Paris accords. Why?  Fracking and natural gas!!!

Posted by: George Terrien | Feb 11, 2021 09:36

Advance information about the side-effects of such an installation are essential.  For example, because the natural gas would not materialize spontaneously in Summit's pipes, we should be informed about how much methane and other greenhouse gasses are emitted in the well-drilling, production, pipeline constructions from gas field to customer, other transport by any means, and distribution of natural gas, all the way back to each well contributing to its supply, and to the byproducts of their exploration and drilling.  These gasses are a real cost to us today, and for the future of their combustion, even if they would not appear in the monthly bllls, or even if they were compensated by the "savings" those bills may provide over the purchase of propane or fuel oil.

Posted by: THOMAS MARSHALL, JR | Feb 11, 2021 09:07

What a trade off. Years of digging and disruption in return for a reliable, efficient, safe alternative to oil, propane and electric service.  Or is it another pitch to lock us in to their supply and pricing whims? Does it make sense for residential at all?  One might make an argument for commercial and industrial uses where conversion from gas to electric power generation on site makes sense, but is Dragon Cement or IFF (Dupont) rushing to place their orders?  Should we consider building our own electric co-op generating power from the high pressure gas lines for residential heating instead of running low pressure gas lines in our neighborhoods?  When we all switch over to electric cars and trucks, how does this help us?  Get those folks from CMP to give us their take on this.

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