Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Construction begins on Sunbury pipeline

The coal plant in Shamokin Dam, Pa., is a local landmark that delivered electricity to this region for more than six decades. It closed in 2014. Next to it, a brand new natural gas power plant is under construction. The Sunbury Pipeline will feed Marcellus Shale gas into that plant.

Jeff Brady/NPR

The coal plant in Shamokin Dam delivered electricity to the region for more than six decades. It closed in 2014. Next to it, a new natural gas power plant is under construction. The Sunbury Pipeline will feed Marcellus Shale gas into that plant.

State and local officials attended a ceremony Wednesday morning to celebrate the groundbreaking for a 20-inch pipeline that will deliver Marcellus Shale gas to a new power plant in central Pennsylvania.

The Sunbury Pipeline is being built by UGI Energy Services. It will begin in Lycoming County and travel 35 miles to feed into the Hummel Station power plant, which is under construction at the site of the former Sunbury coal plant in Shamokin Dam, Synder County.

Construction on the pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The plant is projected to come online in early 2018 and power approximately 1 million homes. The project is part of a broader, ongoing national trend away from coal, as natural gas takes up an increasing share of electric power generation.

“The Sunbury Pipeline Project represents an incremental step forward for Pennsylvania natural gas infrastructure, and a major step forward for Pennsylvania’s energy future,” UGI Energy Services President Brad Hall Hall said in a news release. “UGI is excited to continue its more than century-long tradition of putting natural gas to work for Pennsylvania by fueling the state-of-the-art Hummel Station along with enhancing local natural gas supplies.”

A map of the Sunbury pipeline.

Courtesy: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

A map of the Sunbury pipeline.

Panda Power Funds, a Texas company, is constructing the Hummel Station plant, as well as two other natural gas-fired power plants in Bradford and Lycoming counties.

 

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