Town officials are resurrecting a plan that could save taxpayers money on energy costs for three large town buildings by tapping an underground gas pipeline that runs the north-south length of the United States.
According to First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline could be tapped to run gas to South School, Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School, as well as two private buildings—New Canaan YMCA and Waveny Care Center.
“We can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in heating costs," Mallozzi said.
Once tapped, longer-term possibilities include running gas to downtown business and New Canaan homes, officials say.
Mallozzi said he has been studying the possibility for about three years, with New Canaan Fire Marshal Fred Baker and Assistant Director of Public Works Tiger Mann.
As of last week, the town’s responsibility for studying the project shifted to the Recreation Department, Mallozzi said. That’s because a “gate station” that would be needed to tap the line likely would be located on town property in Waveny. The gate station would house equipment to maintain the line and its main job would be to regulate the pressure coming from the main line, which would need to be greatly reduced to be usable, Baker said.
Recreation Director Steve Benko said one possible location for the approximately 20-by-40-foot station is a strip of land between Lapham Road and the platform tennis courts at Waveny (pictured).
“Looking north-south, it’s on a hill so you could probably dig down and put the unit there and all you’d see from Waveny is a one-story building, but you could hide it there,” Benko told Patch.
The project would need to clear a lot of hurdles in the heavily regulated utility industry.
According to Benko, Yankee Gas would need to come back and figure out which agency has territorial jurisdiction in Connecticut for such a project.
Baker said he and Assistant Fire Chief Jack Hennessey have looked into the project’s safety and are satisfied.
Once everything is lined up, the actual physical work of installing the gate station and tapping the line likely would take six months to one year, Baker said.