An independent consultant finally published its findings on National Grid’s proposal to add two new vaporizers to its Greenpoint facility.
PA Consulting ultimately determined that the vaporizers are not currently needed.
“Based on National Grid’s Existing Supply Stack and the Company’s 2022 Forecast, adequate supply exists to meet Design Day demand until at least the 2026-27 winter season without Vaporizers 13 /14,” the report reads. “National Grid’s demand forecast has decreased significantly since the forecast in place when the Greenpoint project was initially proposed, and planning began.” Design Day refers to National Grid’s planning tool, a hypothetical forecast of the coldest possible weather conditions leading to increased demand.
The report (a whopping 98 pages) highlights the possibility that demand could be warranted further down the line, though unlikely based on the current trajectory of demand for natural gas in New York state.
“While it does not appear the increased capacity would be required to meet Design Day demand (based on the PA baseline supply and demand forecasts) until at least the 2028-29 winter season, having backup vaporizer capacity would be beneficial to operations at Greenpoint,” the report continues.
The report found that the subsequent rate hike for customers, which is how National Grid would finance the project, will cost $70 million instead of the previously estimated $65 million.
PA Consulting made its recommendations to the Public Service Commission, which is the State’s utilities board, which will then make its own determination on whether or not it will finance it, as the consultant’s recommendation is non-binding.
National Grid wants to add two new vaporizers to house Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which they claim is necessary to process more natural gas to meet consumer demand (to learn more about the issue, check out the in-depth reporting that Greenpointers has been doing for years).
As part of their campaign to get the vaporizers approved, National Grid representatives were required to meet with community members. At a town hall in September, National Grid representatives told the crowd that the vaporizers are needed as a backup to the six vaporizers already present. Local activists pushed back against this narrative and surmised that the vaporizers would act as a backup for a backup. When asked whether or not all vaporizers ever had to be run at once to meet demand, National Grid said that they hadn’t.
No NBK Pipeline Coalition, a collective of local activists working in opposition to the project, said this via a press release:
“The consultant’s report makes it clear that the Public Service Commission must reject National Grid’s proposed rate hike for two new fracked gas vaporizers. The Department of Environmental Conservation must then follow and reject construction permits, permanently stopping this expensive, harmful project once and for all. While the report lacks a proper assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions and impact on Disadvantaged Communities, the public will never stop shouting from the rooftops that these vaporizers would perpetuate a racist legacy of polluting Black and Brown communities and contribute to the climate crisis. We once again ask National Grid to listen to those they have harmed most profoundly and come to our communities with a plan to decommission their LNG facility and shut off the gas in the North Brooklyn Pipeline. If National Grid doesn’t hear us, we remind them that hundreds of people are already refusing to pay for phases 1 through 4 of the racist North Brooklyn Pipeline, and those numbers continue to grow. The days of going broke so National Grid can profit from dangerous fossil fuel projects are over.”
National Grid did not respond to Greenpointers’ request for comment.