CMC trustees decline to decide about SourceGas compressor station plan |

CMC trustees decline to decide about SourceGas compressor station plan

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – The trustees of Colorado Mountain College decided on Thursday that they had not been given “adequate time and information” to make a decision about allowing a natural-gas compressor station onto the school’s property here.

According to board president Glenn Davis, “The college feels that further study, dialogue and deliberation is necessary” and suggested that a third-party facilitator be hired to handle things from now on.

Davis spoke Thursday evening in a telephone press conference following a closed-door session of the board of trustees.

He said that “to my knowledge” the college had not communicated its decision to SourceGas, the natural-gas distribution company that is hoping to build the compressor station on school property.

The SourceGas natural-gas distribution company needs to build a compressor station on campus property for financial as well as physical reasons, a company representative said this week.

And, as of May 2, the company had determined that the station must be located on property owned by Colorado Mountain College, and had given the college administration until today to choose between two on-campus sites.

Davis said he was “not in a position” to comment on the company’s deadline, or on any further talks between the company and the school.

Mitch Peebley, senior director of SourceGas operations for Colorado and Wyoming, told a group of CMC staff and faculty members on May 2 that the Excel energy company and SourceGas are partners in a Rifle-to-Avon natural gas pipeline that runs across CMC property.

That pipeline, he said, was built in 1994-95 and designed to carry up to 1,200 pounds per square inch of pressurized natural gas.

But the partnership is about to end with construction of a new pipeline by Excel, Peebley said. The jointly operated pipeline will lose Excel’s gas flow in 2013, meaning a drop of some 40 percent of the volume in the line, he said.

A new compressor station is needed, he maintained, to enable SourceGas to pull a greater volume of its own gas into the line to serve customers in the Roaring Fork River and Eagle River valleys.

“We have to build this compressor station, and it has to be running by the heating season in 2013,” Peebley said, adding that the company already had ordered the materials and equipment for the project, based on a lease signed with CMC President Stan Jensen in August 2011.

If, for any reason, the compressor station were not built, he told his audience, “We will have to curtail customers.”

And those that would be shut down, he said, would be large-scale customers such as ski areas, a gypsum plant in the town of Gypsum, and “other big users. It could cripple our business.”

If that were the case, he added, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which oversees utility companies in the state, may have to step in and get involved.

And the PUC, he said, is in agreement with the goals of SourceGas in this matter.

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