National Grid scraps $38.8m gas vaporizer plan

National Grid has withdrawn its proposal to build two vaporizers in North Brooklyn after a state regulator deemed the project unnecessary to meet energy demands

National Grid has cancelled its proposal to construct two substantial boilers, commonly referred to as “vaporizers,” in North Brooklyn in the US following a decision by a state utility regulator that the project was not needed to meet energy requirements.

The Greenpoint Energy Center facility was earmarked by National Grid to host the vaporizers, which would have enabled the energy provider to deliver energy more efficiently during peak usage periods, such as cold snaps.

National Grid argued that this was necessary to meet the projected energy demands.

However, the state Public Service Commission recently determined that the vaporizers would not be required to fulfil energy demands for at least five years, potentially longer.

Consequently, the state will not reimburse National Grid for the $38.8 million (£31m) spent on the project’s development.

Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said: “While the project has certain reliability benefits, now is not the time to build it. Instead, now is the time for National Grid to redouble its efforts at energy efficiency and other demand-side management programmes to further delay or entirely avoid the need for the project.”

In a letter to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, National Grid expressed disagreement with the commission’s assessment and confirmed that it will reapply for the project in the future.

A National Grid spokesperson told ELN: “We appreciate the New York Public Service Commission’s recognition that the Greenpoint Vaporizers are the best available option to ensure reliable service for our customers; the company is disappointed with the Commission’s determination on the timeline.

“We strongly disagree with the conclusions in the PA Consulting report and believe the project needs to be in service sooner than PA predicts.

“Everyone deserves reliable heat during the winter, and this critical infrastructure is essential to ensuring people can heat their homes through the coldest days, which we experienced during the December holidays.

“We applaud the robust public review process the vaporizers have undergone and believe we have made the case that bringing these two state-of-the-art vaporizers online is crucial to maintaining reliable heat and adequate supply for our existing customers, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing older, less efficient equipment.

“We will review the order and determine the best next steps.”

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