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At PECO, we are always evaluating our infrastructure to meet the growing needs of our 534,000 natural gas customers across portions of southeastern Pennsylvania to deliver safe and reliable service. To do this, we continuously work to maintain the system through inspections, maintenance, and by installing new natural gas mains and service lines to bring natural gas to more customers.
Proper planning is also a key to meeting current needs and projected growth across our region as more residents move into the area and seek natural gas service from PECO. This is a critical step as we develop long-term infrastructure plans to meet the needs of our customers today, and into the future.
PECO has embarked on a project to ensure we can continue to reliably deliver natural gas to customers in Delaware County at the least cost over time. The project includes the installation of more than 11 miles of new natural gas main and a reliability station in Marple Township to deliver natural gas from our facility in West Conshohocken into our distribution system throughout the county.
In June 2020, PECO began work on installing approximately two miles of new natural gas main in Marple Township. Most of this main installation work was completed by December 2021, with a small section of work that remains. See the map below for the project route.
As part of the natural gas reliability project, we also will install a natural gas reliability station in Marple Township that will enable PECO to distribute more natural gas into Marple Township and Delaware County, where it is needed most, through the 11.5 miles of new natural gas main. The station will be the receiving point that will add to the supply of natural gas in the area and will ensure PECO can continue to deliver safe and reliable natural gas to meet the growing needs of the customers and communities we serve.
PECO anticipates a 20% increase in natural gas usage in Delaware County and 10% increase in Marple Township over the next decade. Without this project, the natural gas system in this area will be constrained, resulting in inadequate natural gas supply and pressure to help customers run their appliances, like heaters, during the coldest days of the year. The constrained system will restrict new customers from connecting to the system, and existing customers will not be able to add additional load such as a gas generator or a gas fireplace if the project is not completed.
Check out our interactive PDF to learn more about the structure, safety features, and design of our reliability station.
Safety is always PECO's top priority. As with all our facilities and projects, we have multiple safety measures in place. This facility is monitored 24/7 to ensure safe operation, which allows us to shut the station down remotely in the event of an emergency. Natural gas detectors will be on-site to monitor for any signs of a natural gas leak or issue and, if detected, the station can be shut down remotely to ensure the safety of our customers and communities.
PECO has been successfully operating stations just like this one for decades, with a deep commitment to safety. We have been recognized annually since 2014 by the American Gas Association (AGA) as an Industry Leader in Accident Prevention and our proven commitment to safety will not falter.
PECO is dedicated to keeping area residents informed about our work. Prior to the project starting, we have been in contact with the township and nearby residents to ensure they are aware of our plans and to respond to any questions or concerns. We will continue to update residents about the project and look forward to working with the community and hearing feedback.
PECO's natural gas distribution system helps our residential customers warm their homes, heat their water, and prepare their meals. In addition, it enables our commercial and industrial customers to provide services, manufacture goods, and produce medicines that we all rely upon. Because this natural gas reliability station is too important to the continued dependable gas service that our customers need and expect, and because it is our intent to meet those needs and expectations, we are pursuing our legal options. This includes appealing the Zoning Board's decision to the Court of Common Pleas and applying for relief at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Nonetheless, we will continue to engage in and welcome open discussion with the township's residents and Commissioners to see if there are creative ways to address any and all concerns that may still exist.
A PECO Natural Gas Reliability Project Update Newsletter is sent to local residents on a bi-monthly basis. Each issue provides updates on the progress of the project in the area, pertinent traffic information, and helpful energy tips. To review past issues, click on the links below.
If you have questions about this project, please contact Henry Scheck, Senior Project Manager, at 484-685-7497.