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Pipeline Expansion

To Begin Next Year

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to


COOPERSTOWN – Work on increasing the DeRuyter-Oneonta gas pipeline’s capacity by 25 percent will begin next year, NYSEG has told the Otsego County Energy Task Force.

That could mean the “interruptible power” – Oneonta’s colleges and Fox Hospital are required to switch to more expensive fuel oil when temperatures drop below zero – will kick in less often, county Rep. Michelle Farwell, D-Morris, the task force co-chair, told the county board at its July meeting Wednesday.

Expanding the width of the 50-mile pipeline from 8 to 10 inches has been discussed for years, and even prompted a rate increase.

However, even if construction is completed, there’s no certainty there will be gas to fill it, since the Deruyter’s supplier, the Dominion Pipeline, is “already completely subscribed,” Farwell said.

An update on the upgrade was one piece of news NYSEG delivered with six of its representatives met with the task force on June 26 at the Clark Sports Center.

“It really opened the dialogue between the Energy Task Force and NYSEG that will be really helpful for us moving forward,” said Farwell, who co-chairs the Task Force with Rep. Meg Kennedy.

Energy Task Force members, who are working on an energy master plan for the county, learned NYSEG also has a 10-year plan to increase “resiliency and response” to storm outages locally.

Specific to the county, Farwell reported NYSEG was “connecting a substation in Milford with a substation in Cooperstown, which will allow NYSEG “to isolate the problem more easily and restore power more quickly” when “a storm event happens.”

Leslie Orzetti, a member of the Task Force and head of the Otsego County Conservation Association, said NYSEG is implementing “a smart grid,” which will enable them to see “outages and get response teams out to respond to them more quickly.”

Farwell said the Energy Task Force is compiling additional questions for NYSEG, with the plan to have another public meeting at which NYSEG can answer them.


1 Comment

  1. An 8 to 10 inch pipeline diameter increases gas delivery capacity by 25%. But the article indicates that this quantity may not even be enough to avoid gas to oil switching at low ambient temperatures. If this is the case, it implies that the new gas line is too small to have enough future margin to serve future energy demand if population growth and industrial expansion increases as the state economic development agencies wish. There is also the issue of serving communities along the 50 mile pipeline route with natural gas, saving them much in the cost of heating their homes instead of their continuing using more expensive, messy, and polluting fuel oil. Why not, then, buck up the size of the new line to 12 inches? The only real incremental expense is the 20% additional pipe and fittings steel cost, with other costs remaining about the same. To explain: since the pipeline property acquisition and digging costs are about the same for both sizes, the overall investment increase would calculate be less than 8 to10% to secure the future use of gas in this area of NY, assuming an original labor/material ratio of 60/40% . Why isn’t it better to provide for the future if it’s reasonably affordable?

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