May 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of operations for Pine Needle LNG — the Williams-operated liquefied natural gas storage facility located in Stokesdale, North Carolina.
Placed into service in May 1999, the plant serves as both a winter and summer peaking facility, sending out natural gas to serve Transco pipeline customers in the Southeast during the coldest and hottest days of the year.
One of the largest facilities of its kind, the Pine Needle plant is uniquely positioned in North Carolina in a region with limited natural gas storage options.
Before Pine Needle was operational, Williams customers had limited service flexibility in states like North Carolina. There was gas storage along the Gulf Coast and some in the Northeast, but peak day storage in the Mid-Atlantic region was something customers desperately needed.
To address the need, Williams partnered with customers Piedmont, Public Service of North Carolina, North Carolina Natural Gas, Amerada Hess and Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia to construct Pine Needle.
Nestled on 829 acres, the facility primarily consists of two 162-foot tall storage tanks, each with a capacity of about two billion cubic feet. The facility is capable of liquefying about 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, with 400 million cubic feet per day of vaporization.