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Summit to Bring Natural Gas Service to Maine Midcoast in $90 Million Expansion Project – 2/23/2021

Summit Natural Gas of Maine announced plans to extend their service territory into Maine’s Midcoast with a $90 million investment in the region. The company’s expansion into Knox and Waldo Counties will bring safe and reliable natural gas to residential and commercial customers in communities along the Route 1 corridor including, Belfast, Camden, Rockland, Rockport, and Thomaston, allowing many of them to convert from oil to cleaner burning natural gas.

“Whether it comes to building the businesses driving our new economy or warming our homes, Mainers need access to a consistent, reliable fuel sources like natural gas,” said Summit’s CEO Kurt Adams. “The Midcoast is one of the last commercial centers in Maine without natural gas service, which is why Summit is committed to bringing this energy option to communities along Route 1. We are very excited to help Belfast, Camden, Rockland, and other towns in the region strengthen their economies while providing them with a lower emission fuel alternative. Over the first five years of the project, we estimate that we will be able to reduce emissions by 263,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to taking 57,000 cars off the road.”

“On behalf of myself and the City Council, I wholeheartedly welcome Summit Natural Gas of Maine to Belfast,” said Mayor Eric Sanders. “Summit offers a long overdue choice for Belfast residents when it comes to their energy source. From pricing to environmental benefits, this is a unique opportunity for our region.”

Converting from oil to natural gas is one way to reduce the carbon footprint of a home or business. In fact, when you convert a home from an inefficient oil system to a highly efficient national gas system, you can reduce its emissions by 38 percent1. This is the equivalent of installing solar panels on two individual Maine homes.

“I am pleased to learn that Summit Utilities will be bringing natural gas to the Midcoast area and especially Rockport. Summit’s extension of gas service creates a new option for economic development and for the environmentally minded. Just as businesses require a variety of fuel sources to meet their unique energy needs, folks in the Midcoast will now have an additional option for heating their homes as they see fit,” said Rockport Town Manager William Post.

To ease conversion costs for customers, Summit is offering rebates of up to $3,300 for residential and $6,600 for commercial customers.

Roughly 100 new jobs will be created in the Midcoast by the construction of the $90 million project. Following completion of the project’s initial phases, Summit will have invested more than $450 million in Maine’s economy over the last decade to build out their pipeline infrastructure. In addition, Summit looks forward to employing highly skilled union labor by continuing its long-time partnership with the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) for completion of the majority of this project.

“Our members are some of the hardest working, most highly skilled professionals in the state of Maine,” said Laborers' Local 327 President Chris Tucker. “This project will create good paying jobs with excellent benefits for local workers. We look forward to our continued partnership with Summit on this project.”

Summit hopes to break ground on the project in the fall install a main pipeline system intended to accommodate Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, and Thomaston. Service is expected to start for residential and commercial customers alike in late 2022 following the completion of an initial phase of the project. By 2026, Summit hopes to have made service available to more than 6,500 customers and extended their footprint into the towns of Lincolnville and Northport.

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