Dominion formally announces pipeline partnership

Nelson County residents protest Dominion's planned natural gas pipeline outside an August community meeting in Lovingston. Photo: Graelyn Brashear Nelson County residents protest Dominion’s planned natural gas pipeline outside an August community meeting in Lovingston. Photo: Graelyn Brashear

Dominion Resources has formally announced it will pursue its planned natural gas pipeline through Virginia as part of a multi-billion-dollar partnership with North Carolina electricity giant Duke Energy and two other energy companies.

The proposed 550-mile pipeline, previously called the Southeast Reliability Project, is now dubbed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Until the formal partnership announcement on Tuesday, September 2, Dominion had called all plans for the $4.5-$5 billion pipeline preliminary, despite its fast-moving efforts to begin surveying land along a possible right of way—including properties in nearby Nelson County, where residents have vowed to fight the pipeline and Dominion’s possible use of eminent domain to seize land for it.

Dominion will build and operate the pipeline on behalf of a partner LLC with multiple stakeholders. Dominion itself will have a 45 percent ownership stake, and Charlotte-based Duke Energy will have a 40 percent stake. Piedmont Natural Gas, also headquartered in Charlotte, will own 10 percent of the LLC, and Atlanta-based AGL Resources will own the remaining 5 percent.

The partnership plans to stick to the rapid timeline for the project previously outlined by Dominion, according to a press release from the company. A pre-filing request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—which must approve the pipeline—is expected this fall, and Dominion plans on starting construction as early as summer 2016, with a completion date in late 2018.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was set to hold a press conference Tuesday morning with executives from Dominion and AGL touting the project’s economic benefits.