FERC Says Yes To Quieting Compression

Mapa por cortesía de Columbia Gas Transmission.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable environmental assessment for the Leach XPress Project Amendment, allowing the proposed by Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (Columbia Gas) project to move forward.

Columbia Gas will make modifications to the full-load operation of the Ceredo Compressor Station (Ceredo CS) to limit the use of the seven existing vintage reciprocating units to four units; amend the noise level requirement for Ceredo CS and the Crawford Compressor Station (Crawford CS) to provide that the noise condition set forth in the Environmental Impact Statement for LXP applies to operations at both stations. The proposed amended noise condition would allow Columbia to operate Ceredo CS at the reduced maximum noise levels resulting from the proposed amended full load operations. It would further ensure that noise levels associated with both Ceredo CS and Crawford CS conform to FERC policy regarding noise levels at legacy compression stations and reflect that Columbia did not install new compressor facilities at Crawford CS as part of LXP.

Columbia Gas will reduce the noise levels at the Ceredo CS by adding three electric motor driven centrifugal units; adding a low-noise gas aftercooler; adding a new low-noise electric motor driven centrifugal unit; adding a Solar Turbine Titan 250 compressor unit; adding additional low-noise gas cooling; and abandoning GE Frame 3 units. In addition, Columbia planted screening trees and added acoustical insulation to exterior piping to further mitigate station noise.

Columbia Gas plans to further reduce full-load noise levels at the Ceredo CS by limiting the number of legacy reciprocating compressor units that Columbia uses at a given time. Currently, Columbia Gas’s full-load operations utilize five of the seven legacy reciprocating units at a given time. Columbia Gas has determined that it is able to operate the Ceredo CS utilizing only four of the seven legacy reciprocating units at a given time, without any reduction in system capability. To implement the modified full-load operations, Columbia Gas requested an amendment to its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to modify the full-load operation from five to only four of the seven legacy reciprocating units.

To allow for the more limited use of the legacy reciprocating units, Columbia Gas will make minor software modifications to allow the three electric-driven compressor units installed as part of LXP to each operate at 13,000 hp (9698 kW). Columbia Gas was previously authorized to utilize 11,000 hp (8206 kW) from these compressor units and noted that the units were capable of operating at up to 13,000 hp with minor additional modifications. Columbia is seeking to further amend its full load to operations to allow each of the three electric-driven units to operate at 13,000 hp. This proposed amendment would not result in an increase to the overall certificated horsepower at Ceredo CS.