LNG imports helping New England meet energy demand during extreme cold weather

  • Feb 11, 2019
  • Energy Global

Excelerate Energy LP’s Northeast Gateway Deepwater LNG Terminal, located offshore Boston, reached a peak send-out flow rate of over 800 billion Btu per day of natural gas on 1 February 2019, a first for the terminal. The operation was completed by two of Excelerate’s floating storage regasification units (FSRUs), Exemplar and   discharging in parallel through Excelerate’s proprietary offshore buoys.

During the coldest days of the year, demand for natural gas from residential customers rises in New England. Historically, during these times, as natural gas deliverability becomes constrained, power generators have been forced to burn dirtier fuels such as oil. This year, LNG imports from Excelerate’s Northeast Gateway facility have complimented the system by providing a stable, reliable supply of clean energy during this peak demand, allowing generators to continue burning natural gas.

The terminal is designed to respond to local market conditions in real-time and can ramp up service to ensure energy providers meet customer demand. At a flow rate of 800 billion Btu per day, this represents approximately the average gas demand of power generators during recent January – February periods.

“Excelerate’s Northeast Gateway has helped New England prepare for the winter months by supplying natural gas to meet the increased energy demand of the region,” stated Excelerate’s Managing Director Steven Kobos. “Deliveries of LNG directly into the Algonquin system helps to bring much-needed market stability and fuel security to the Northeast, an added benefit for consumers.”

Located 13 miles offshore Boston, Excelerate commissioned Northeast Gateway in 2008. The terminal consists of a dual submerged turret-loading buoy system which allows for the connection of FSRUs that have been specifically designed to meet the challenging conditions of the North Atlantic. FSRUs act, in all aspects, similar to a land-based terminal and have the onboard capability to vaporise LNG and deliver natural gas directly into the existing subsea HubLine pipeline operated by Enbridge’s Algonquin Gas Transmission.