The Mid-Atlantic region might experience a significant energy infrastructure build-out, ranging from natural gas pipelines to electric generation facilities, if the projects proposed for the region come to fruition. On December 30, 2015, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct certain natural gas pipeline facilities in West Virginia and Virginia, which will be known as the WB Xpress Project. In total, the project will include 29 miles of new pipeline, two new compressor stations and the modification of seven existing stations, resulting in additional pipeline capacity of approximately 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). A second natural gas pipeline project application was filed with FERC in August 2015 by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, which is owned in part by Dominion Resources, Inc. The Atlantic Coast project consists of 564 miles of new pipeline and three new compressor stations located in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina with an expected capacity of 1.5 Bcf/d.
In addition, on January 12, 2016, Dominion Virginia Power announced plans to make significant investments in electric grid and generation facilities throughout its footprint in Virginia and North Carolina. Dominion intends to spend $2 billion per year through 2020 to construct and upgrade electric distribution and transmission facilities, as well as solar and other generation facilities. According to Dominion, these investments, totaling $9.5 billion, are intended to “meet growth, enhance reliability and promote cleaner air and water.” Dominion also states that using natural gas in lieu of coal for electric generation is a key component of its planned compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan.