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August 28, 2018

Summit Natural Gas of Maine completes $4M expansion project in Sidney

Courtesy / Summit Natural Gas
Courtesy / Summit Natural Gas
Summit Natural Gas of Maine has completed its summer expansion project in Sidney (pictured) and activated natural gas service to Pike Industries over the weekend.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine activated natural gas service to Pike Industries in Sidney over the weekend, marking the completion of the company's summer expansion project to the town.

To complete the project, Summit worked closely with the Maine Department of Transportation and hired local contractors, JDR Unlimited and McGee Construction. The overall project cost $4 million and includes the installation of approximately eight miles of pipe.

Summit will now focus on installing additional pipe to residential areas in the community where customers have signed up for gas service.

One of the catalysts for the project was converting Pike Industries from oil to natural gas, Summit stated in a news release.

Pike Industries is a leading highway contractor as well as the largest producer of hot mix asphalt and construction aggregates in the country. It employs 850 individuals throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

"The Sidney plant is one of our flagship locations in Maine and Pike is excited to be burning natural gas for our energy needs at this location. We are always looking for avenues to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment and moving this plant to a cleaner fuel source fits that strategy," Kevin Folkins, energy manager at Pike Industries, said in the news release.

Expanding into residential neighborhoods

Now that the main pipeline connecting Sidney to the rest of Summit's Kennebec Valley System has been installed, the company is focused on installing additional pipe down residential roads to bring natural gas access to families and businesses throughout the community.

To help lower the cost of converting to natural gas, Summit stated it is partnering with the Efficiency Maine Trust to offer rebates and incentives of up to $3,550 for residential homes and up to $6,800 for commercial buildings.

John Whitcomb, chairman of Sidney's Board of Selectmen, characterized Summit's pipeline expansion as a "tremendous opportunity for growth in Sidney."

"This expansion of natural gas as an energy option is a boost to the community that will hopefully help spur economic growth and opportunity throughout the area," he said.

Matt Philbrick, a local engineer and developer who is currently working on a housing development that will use natural gas on Mia Ridge in Sidney, described the addition of natural gas to Sidney as "a big deal for residents and businesses who are looking for reliable and efficient energy solutions."

Since coming to Maine five years ago, Summit has invested more than $340 million to build more than 200 miles of distribution pipe throughout the state. The company provides natural gas to thousands of residents and most of the schools, colleges, hospitals and municipal buildings in its service areas.

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