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New Gas Account Moratorium in Westchester County

D107D107 Posts: 1,576Member
https://www.coned.com/en/save-money/convert-to-natural-gas/westchester-natural-gas-moratorium/about-the-westchester-natural-gas-moratorium

Apparently infrastructure issues are pushing Con Ed to stop accepting new gas customers after March 15 in certain parts of Westchester County, NY. Certainly might affect heating installers.

Comments

  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 591Member
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,326Member
    It's about time they started admitting they can't keep up with demand.
    steve
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,576Member
    edited January 22
    Though they talk about 'non-pipeline solutions' one wonders whether after some time, they will simply expand their capacity at the consumer's expense. We all knew the infrastructure upgrade was coming. They are also hoping that the various geothermal modes may save the day.

    One also wonders how the 'on demand' hwh high required input adds to this problem. If everyone had the right size boiler or furnace how much would that alleviate the problem?

    What's a non-pipeline solution--huge storage tanks? Do people want to live near those?
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Posts: 284Member
    Pennsylvania is swimming with natural gas. Many completed wells are not being used but are ready. If the transport pipelines are not approved, or too costly that nearby gas will never get to New England to be used.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,113Member
    Saw this one coming some years ago... and until the NIMBYs start getting cold, it's not going to get any better.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,326Member
    PA currently has a problem with the Mariner Pipeline. Partial shut down due to sink hole, and AG looking at charges related to safety.
    Fracking isn't the answer, as far as I'm concerned. Destroying the water table and eventually the planet.
    steve
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited January 23
    Seems politicians were wrong that switching from coal fired electric plants to THIRSTY nat gas fired plants was the best solution for all our CO2 problems.

    non-pipeline solutions = gas company injects propane/air into street lines when cross country pipelines can't meet demand.

    Nat gas was shut off in Newport RI recently , people had to go to motels and such. Pipelines couldn't keep up with demand. Been ~ 0 degs and high winds for several days now
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,113Member
    Bottom line is this -- and has nothing to do with politics. It takes X BTUh to heat all the buildings, and Y BTUh in terms of fuel usage rate to keep the lights on. What the energy source for those is BTUs doesn't matter -- as we all know. What does matter is can you get X+Y BTUh to where it is needed? Again, what the energy source is doesn't really matter: the transportation network, whether pipelines (oil or natural gas or propane) or rail (coal) or the electrical grid, has only a certain capacity; there is a very definite upper limit on the amount of power you can put through the network, and if you try to go over that limit, somebody's going to be either dark or cold or both.

    All of the networks -- grid, pipelines, rail -- feeding into New England and downstate New York are operating at capacity at least part of the time (a very scary situation, by the way -- when a network is operating at or very near capacity, there's no provision for Murphy, and even a slight glitch can bring the whole thing to a screeching halt), and here is where politics does come in: it is almost impossible to get approval to expand them. Any of them. The railroad companies are smart enough to not even try -- and coal is out of favour anyway. There have been several proposals to put in new high tension electrical grid ties; they've all been vetoed. There have been a number of proposals for new gas and oil pipelines. Ditto.

    So... folks are either in the dark or cold or both.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited January 23
    Agreed

    Supply lines/Pipelines operating at capacity is bit scarry. 40 years ago I interviewed with local gas co. Even back then they were supplimenting pipeline nat gas flow with pair of 100 ft long LARGE propane tanks to meet winter demand. Few years ago there were ~3X as many of those tanks. And now we have New THIRSTY nat gas power plants drinking gas off those old pipelines to replace coal fired plants.

    Not a good plan.

    Maybe the pendulum will swing in favor of coal again when people find being COLD and DARK is the true cost of reducing CO2....at least until there are well thought out technical solutions instead of false hopes that miriacals will happen immediately.

    Just plan foolish to take coal or any energy source out of the mix until the infrastructure is in place to reliably replace it with something else.

    Nat gas is not available where I am. I use heating oil and have a gasoline back up generator to make power for furnace, and store a large supply of gasoline
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,857Member
    It’s a chicken or the egg thing. Build excessive capacity infrastructure in anticipation of demand, or try and play catch-up? Either way the consumer pays. Rarely does it even out where infrastructure expands exactly to demand. The move from rural America to the cities foe employment has some to do with the swing.

    Been in traffic in any major US city recently? Same infrastructure challenges. no easy solutions to increase highway capacity in many cities without stacking or tunneling.

    Black and brownouts more frequent due to high electrical demand and obsolete grid infrastructure

    If Only we could find 5 billion or so to engineer our way out of these problems.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • FredFred Posts: 8,046Member
    @hot rod_7 said:If Only we could find 5 billion or so to engineer our way out of these problems.

    Maybe we could substitute the wall for infrastructure and also get government workers back to work too? Two bird with one stone!
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,857Member
    Fred said:

    @hot rod_7 said:If Only we could find 5 billion or so to engineer our way out of these problems.

    Maybe we could substitute the wall for infrastructure and also get government workers back to work too? Two bird with one stone!

    Or part of the 12 billion farm bailout package? Whose money is that, after all
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • R ManninoR Mannino Posts: 434Member
    Leonard said:

    Seems politicians were wrong that switching from coal fired electric plants to THIRSTY nat gas fired plants was the best solution for all our CO2 problems.

    non-pipeline solutions = gas company injects propane/air into street lines when cross country pipelines can't meet demand.

    Nat gas was shut off in Newport RI recently , people had to go to motels and such. Pipelines couldn't keep up with demand. Been ~ 0 degs and high winds for several days now

    Politicians and solutions in the same sentence?
  • FredFred Posts: 8,046Member
    hot rod_7 said:

    Fred said:

    @hot rod_7 said:If Only we could find 5 billion or so to engineer our way out of these problems.

    Maybe we could substitute the wall for infrastructure and also get government workers back to work too? Two bird with one stone!

    Or part of the 12 billion farm bailout package? Whose money is that, after all
    We probably need the farm bailout money to balance the trade debacle. After all, that mess is not the farmer's fault either.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,857Member
    I’d like to see billions show up overnight for programs that benefit all of us. Even an infrastructure game plan would be a step in the right direction.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Adolfo2Adolfo2 Posts: 31Member
    D107 said:

    Though they talk about 'non-pipeline solutions' one wonders whether after some time, they will simply expand their capacity at the consumer's expense. We all knew the infrastructure upgrade was coming. They are also hoping that the various geothermal modes may save the day.

    One also wonders how the 'on demand' hwh high required input adds to this problem. If everyone had the right size boiler or furnace how much would that alleviate the problem?

    What's a non-pipeline solution--huge storage tanks? Do people want to live near those?

    The old Elmhurst Gas Tanks in Queens, NY (Removed 2001) were used for demand peak management
  • FredFred Posts: 8,046Member
    @hot rod_7 , I'd love that too
  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 591Member
    A little bit more about the gas shortage in the northeast and NIMBYs.

    There was a proposal on the table by Kinder Morgan to build a large pipeline (36 inch I believe) to more gas from Pennsylvania to a connection point in Dracut Massachusetts. This was cancelled in 2016 due to resistance by NIMBYs. The NIMBYs as a whole weren't necessarily opposed to the project (although some were), they were unhappy with the size and scale of the project. The project proponents weren't entirely transparent with their proposal, because it included building an LNG facility near the terminus of the pipeline, so that gas could be exported to Europe. This part of the plan, when it was discovered, prompted blow back, because the stated reason for implementing the pipeline (sufficient supply in New England during peak demand), was being used to "hide" the ability to sell that gas into the international market. The NIMBYs called for a scaling back of the project to a 24 or 30 inch line, before KM pulled the plug.

    Also, if I could comment on decline of coal issue. Coal is in decline because it is less costly to build and operate a gas fire plant than a coal fired plant. It's not politics that is shifting the country (and especially New England) away from coal, its economics.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,857Member
    The gas suppliers will sell to the highest bidder, with a glut of NG, more and more will export to China, India, and plenty other customers. Should ratepayers $$ be used to construct export terminals, or our own infrastructure upgrades first.

    Ships passing in the night, our NG leaving, Middle East oil coming in. Good to be in the shipping business
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Posts: 284Member
    Is it better to have LNG storage in New England and a large pipeline, even if most of the time it is used to export gas, or not have the storage and delivery capacity at all? Seems to me proper regulation by the states' PUC"s could make sure that the built facilities (storage/pipelines) are used in their states during emergencies with export curtailments. Would this be better than no gas at all at those time..

    Also, some gas utilities are building LNG storage facilities, not for export but for peaking injection into the system in cold snaps. They use the city gate pressure reducing stations to chill a small percentage of the gas to LNG conditions for essentially free (no chilling energy needed due to the chilling as the gas pressure is reduced--why your grill tank regulator ices up sometimes). Pretty cost effective from an energy standpoint, but they still need to spend on storage and the pressure reducing equipment. But as we all know, reliability is not free.
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 276Member
    With widespread availability of ultra-low sulfur no. 2, let the gas-to-oil conversions begin. :)
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,857Member

    Is it better to have LNG storage in New England and a large pipeline, even if most of the time it is used to export gas, or not have the storage and delivery capacity at all? Seems to me proper regulation by the states' PUC"s could make sure that the built facilities (storage/pipelines) are used in their states during emergencies with export curtailments. Would this be better than no gas at all at those time..

    Also, some gas utilities are building LNG storage facilities, not for export but for peaking injection into the system in cold snaps. They use the city gate pressure reducing stations to chill a small percentage of the gas to LNG conditions for essentially free (no chilling energy needed due to the chilling as the gas pressure is reduced--why your grill tank regulator ices up sometimes). Pretty cost effective from an energy standpoint, but they still need to spend on storage and the pressure reducing equipment. But as we all know, reliability is not free.

    I imagine it is not one simple solution, I’d guess in ground piping or lack of is the biggest hurdle. If the lines cannot handle demand, or run safely at higher pressures without leaking and causing explosions,then additional storage would mainly cover peaking loads at the NG power stations.

    Service lines from the mains to buildings go in quickly these days.

    Resources generally flow towards money first, although Sun Valley has been known to suck the gas lines dry with snowmelt loads🤩
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,113Member
    One could argue -- with some justice -- that the gas pipeline people didn't do as good a job at explaining what they were doing with that Dracutt terminal as they might have -- which would have enabled export and import of LNG, yes, but would also have enabled peaking storage. But it's rather hard to explain that sort of thing to non-engineering types.

    So far as following the money goes -- oh yes indeed. These are public utilities -- yes. But they are private companies. As such, they need to have enough return on their stockholders investment to attract capital. The various public utility commissions are reluctant to allow the rates to go high enough to do that.

    As it stands at the moment, it is restriction in the capacity of all three grids -- rail, pipeline and electric -- which are limiting. I like @hot rod_7 's comment on the consequences of higher pressure... these things are running at as high a pressure as they are rated for.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,326Member
    To me, one angle is the fact that Big Gas wants these new pipelines, wants the public to pay for them, and wants the legislature to mandate them, and get the country off of heating oil, but don't want to maintain/repair/replace existing pipelines-they just want corporate welfare so they can reap huge profits.
    There are plenty of news stories about NG explosions and pipeline failures.
    And of course tremendous amounts of methane gas being leaked into the atmosphere from these pipelines, as well as fracking wellheads.
    steve
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Posts: 284Member
    Exports of LNG throughout the year would likely pay for the needed infrastructure which could be used by the area residents in times of emergency. Otherwise it is likely too costly to build bigger pipelines and storage facilities if they are only used for a couple of weeks every few years. A constant use for export would provide the dollars and return needed, and proper contractual controls and/or PUC regulation would provide for priority for area users in event of emergency. Often "perfect" is the enemy of "good", or "good enough to fit the needs".
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,113Member
    Well, the gas companies would like someone to pay for the new lines and for the maintenance of the old ones. Who is it to be? The people who would benefit, from having enough reliable gas (or reliable electricity -- same problem exists there)? If not them, who? The government? Through taxes... which hits the same people, with a bureaucracy skimming off the top? Dunno. But as they say in the auld country, if you want to dance, you have to pay the piper.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,576Member
    It seems safe to say that EVEN IF in 10-20 years solar technology was capable of handling all the electric needs of a household and was affordable to the vast majority without government subsidies; and EVEN if Air Source Heat Pumps were similarly capable AND affordable, it would likely take another 30+ years before all the existing heating systems on fossil fuels would convert to such technology--or ground source, etc. So we appear to be stuck with this dilemma for at least two more generations where everything will be a mix of coal, oil, gas, electric, heat pump, nuclear. Unless we are miraculously rescued by cold fusion....
  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 591Member
    Solar tech doesn't really help out much in the winter in New England. I have a grid-tie PV system, and production on a good summer day is 40-50 kWh, while on a good winter day it's around 10 kWh. Additionally, when it snows, the panels get covered and don't produce any power at all.

    Fossil fuels will be with us in a major way until we figure out how to make fusion work economically. Once that happens, natural gas pipelines can be converted to hydrogen pipelines.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,271Member

    With widespread availability of ultra-low sulfur no. 2, let the gas-to-oil conversions begin. :)

    Not gonna happen. The oil companies have killed their own market. And no one wants an oil tank in their basement or in the ground on their property.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,113Member
    Brewbeer said:

    Solar tech doesn't really help out much in the winter in New England. I have a grid-tie PV system, and production on a good summer day is 40-50 kWh, while on a good winter day it's around 10 kWh. Additionally, when it snows, the panels get covered and don't produce any power at all. ...

    Quite true. And you are doing better than many. Thing is, when you look at the true believers for solar energy, they either live in the major metro areas, such as New York, and have absolutely no clue as to where their electricity comes from, or in the southwest -- particularly southern California -- and may (probably!) have never seen snow or two cloudy days in a row in their lives.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    "The oil companies have killed their own market"

    I have not heard that one.....how?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,271Member
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited January 24
    I see what you mean , and more need for service with oil. But lot of dubs and thieves in any service business. Car service too.
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,576Member
    Why is it that so few oil techs use digital testing equipment vs gas techs? Is it because there's less motivation to ensure better combustion which might earn less money for their oil company? That seems too simple an answer. Or that a greater liability is perceived with gas given perceived greater possibility of CO and/or explosion? It seems the oil techs have their own long-established culture, where many pride themselves on being able to tune the burner by eye. (I know for sure this is not all oil techs--many on this site and oiltechtalk have posted in detail about their painstaking oil tuneup procedures--with digital equipment.)
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,271Member
    Around here, both gas and oil customers tell me they have never seen anyone use a digital analyzer.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 4,279Member
    Check out what just happened in Newport RI when the demand exceeded the ability of the pipeline supplier (Algonquin Transmission) to meet the demand and National Grid had to shut down over 6,000 customers. These old pipelines all need to be replaced as they just can't handle the load in extreme weather conditions.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited January 25
    In the Newport RI case I read upstream in Weymouth Mass a valve failed and that caused the pipeline flow to decrease. Something about it was a small valve ( relief valve maybe) that they don't bother to test or monitor. Odd that they don';t test a valve that can take down the system. Read something about they agreed to test and install cameras to monitor it... if true sounds like a PR job to make it the PR problem go away rather a good overall system plan
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,102Member
    All the problems we have are PR problems I guess. At least, I can't think of a problem that wasn't solved via a good PR campaign, possibly with other actions following. But the PR campaign always leads.
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