On Sept. 3, 2019, the Cooperative’s Centre Hall natural gas project began construction. This effort is jointly sponsored by the Cooperative, Columbia Gas, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DECD), Hanover Foods, and Dominion Energy. It is being supported through a $1 million Pipeline Infrastructure Program (PIPE) grant from DCED, contributions from Columbia Gas and Hanover Foods, and support from the Cooperative. The Cooperative is the grantee for the PIPE funding. Completion of the initial phase, which will involve construction of a point of delivery station on Dominion’s transmission line and delivery pipeline through Centre Hall to Hanover Foods, is scheduled for spring of 2020. Development of additional delivery lines to area residents and businesses will follow.
This is the initial project involving the Cooperative to reach the construction phase, approximately three years after the Cooperative’s establishment. It serves as an excellent result to illustrate the purpose of why the Cooperative was formed. Without the Cooperative’s involvement in procuring PIPE grant funding, and the Cooperative’s efforts to form the project partnerships, it is doubtful that the project would have been made possible. While in this instance Columbia Gas will be the owner and operator of the delivery pipeline infrastructure, the Cooperative is capable of developing other projects where it does own and operate delivery networks, including “virtual pipeline” delivery systems in areas where no existing hardline delivery systems exist. The Cooperative’s approach to project development is designed to be flexible and capable of meeting specific conditions for natural gas delivery.
Getting Pennsylvania natural gas to homes and businesses in our eight-county service area is the main goal of the Cooperative, and we expect to always work with project partners to meet this need, as was the case in Centre Hall. Being able to leverage investments and participation for project development is a strength of the Cooperative and is unique in Pennsylvania because of the Cooperative’s regional nature. We anticipate Centre Hall beginning to enjoy the benefits of having natural gas service beginning in 2020 and look forward to providing similar benefits to others involved in future projects.