Atlantic Coast Pipeline Delayed, Cost Expected to Increase
Utility Dive is reporting today that The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project hopes to restart construction later in 2019 and is now targeting a late 2020 partial in-service date. The project was originally expected to cost between $6B and $6.5B but that estimate has risen to now cost as much as $7.5B. Environmental lawsuits have forced work stoppage affecting timelines and cost projections. Dominion Energy remains committed to project completion with multiple paths forward either through legislation or the courts. Dominion is developing the project along with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Co.
In December 2018, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a U.S. Fish & Wildlife permit for the ACP because of insufficient wildlife protections affecting approximately 100 miles in West Virginia and Virginia. In a subsequent decision, the same court rejected U.S. Forest Service approval to allow the ACP to cross the George Washington National Forest, Monongahela National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail.
Utility Dive reports that Dominion has requested an en banc hearing to challenge the December Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that invalidated project authorization. Dominion Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell, told analysts during a Friday quarterly earnings call that en banc is not the only path, but it is currently the primary focus. Dominion Energy is also working on a legislative path and other options to address the invalidated permits. The government shutdown delayed full pursuit fo all options