Baltimore Gas and Electric is preparing to install a new natural gas main along Md. 27 that representatives say will help the utility stay ahead of the curve as demand for natural gas increases.
The underground main will run approximately 11 miles adjacent to Md. 27 between Mount Airy and Westminster, according to a news release from BGE.
Planning for the project has been going on for a while, said BGE spokesman Richard Yost, and residents likely will see equipment on-site and surveyors in the area in the next few weeks, when work should begin.
Yost said BGE hopes the project will be completed by the fall.
The pipeline will consist of a 12-inch diameter, coated steel pipe, located primarily within the State Highway Administration road right-of-way. The coated pipe will be placed in an underground trench and then buried, and its location will be marked to help protect it from damage due to excavation, according to a news release from BGE.
To reduce impact on traffic, most of the work is expected to be conducted at night along sections of Md. 27. All adjacent property owners will be directly notified about the work that will be necessary at their locations and BGE will work to coordinate operations with residents, according to the utility.
The primary focus of the project is to reinforce the existing natural gas systems that currently serve more than 15,000 BGE customers in Carroll County and 38,000 customers in neighboring areas by connecting Mount Airy and Westminster pipelines, according to a news release. It is an intermediary link in the gas system between the mains and services that serve individual customers and larger diameter pipelines that move natural gas across the region.
"This pipeline will reinforce the [existing] system and be able to meet demand of projected growth [in the] next few years," Yost said.
Natural gas is one of the cleaner energy sources for heating homes and for appliances such as cooking stoves and hot water heaters, BGE spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said.
"It's a cleaner, more affordable fuel source," she said. "Natural gas prices remain as low as they've been since at least 2009."
Lighty said the demand for natural gas is growing.
"When we have these extreme weather conditions ... we definitely saw a large increase in demand and usage with just our customers this winter season alone," she said.
"As Maryland continues to add more residents, homes and businesses, it makes sense that BGE invest in our infrastructure to improve safety and reliability for our customers."