As part of the proposal, Williams is proposing to construct a state-of-the-art 21,800-horsepower gas turbine compressor station located in Pittsylvania County, Va. The facility would be located in close proximity to the existing Transco Station 165 in Chatham, Va.
Compressor stations, sometimes called pumping stations, are the “engine” that powers an interstate natural gas pipeline. As the name implies, the compressor station compresses the natural gas, (increasing its pressure) to push the gas through the pipeline.
Pipeline companies install compressor stations along their pipelines, typically one every 40 to 100 miles. The size and the number of compressors vary, based on the diameter of the pipe and the volume of gas to be moved. Nevertheless, the basic components of a station are similar.
Most compressor stations are automated so that the compressors can be started, controlled and stopped from a central control location regardless of the weather conditions, time of day, or day of the week. The automation system also acts to protect the equipment, facility, and surrounding area in the event that the equipment is not operating as it was intended. The operators of the system continuously monitor and adjust the mix of compressors that are running to maximize efficiency as well as keeping detailed operating data on each compressor station. The control center also can remotely operate shut-off valves along the pipeline system.
Some of the criteria that will be used to evaluate potential facility locations include property availability, access to electric power, pipeline hydraulics, compatibility with local zoning, land use and land development, site terrain, water table and storm water management, and site accessibility.
Williams will also evaluate a number of environmental factors, including potential impacts to nearby residences. This will include a detailed analysis of the project’s effect on wildlife, vegetation, wetlands, water bodies and groundwater, geology, soils, land use, air and noise quality.
As part of the design process, an independent acoustical consultant will be engaged to conduct a sound study to assess the impact to nearby Noise Sensitive Areas (NSAs) , which are defined as residences, schools or hospitals. The design for this facility will be based on certificate conditions expected to be set forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The current FERC policies limit the noise attributable to the new facility to a day-night average of 55 dBA at nearby NSAs. This is the approximate equivalent sound of a normal household refrigerator.
Safety & Security
The station will be equipped with federally-required and industry-recognized safety features such as pressure relief valves, emergency shutdown systems, and gas detection devices. The facility is planned to be staffed by onsite personnel during normal business hours. Outside normal business hours, the station will be fully automated for remote operation and monitored 24/7.