OCEAN CITY — After miles of pipes, boring under the bay floor and a few hiccups along the way, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation officials last week announced it is now delivering natural gas to the resort.
Chesapeake Utilities last Thursday announced Sandpiper Energy, its wholly-owned subsidiary, has completed the years’ long process of extending natural gas lines into Ocean City and is now in the process of connecting residential and commercial customers in the resort. The process began a few years back with Sandpiper extending natural gas lines from Delaware loosely along the Route 113 corridor into northern Worcester County.
In recent years, the lines have been extended southward and eastward, taking in communities such as Berlin, Ocean Pines and West Ocean City, for example, before Sandpiper undertook the process of extending lines beneath the bay floor and into south Ocean City. There have been a few speed bumps along the way, including Sandpiper contractors rupturing a water main along Philadelphia Avenue near 15th Street in January that required extensive repairs to the roadway, but Chesapeake Utilities announced last week natural gas has now been extended into Ocean City.
The company expects to make over 250 conversions to natural gas for residents and business owners through the end of May in advance of the upcoming summer season.
“Our team is excited to have made progress in its commitment to providing natural gas to residents and businesses in Ocean City and Worcester County,” said Chesapeake Utilities President and CEO Michael McMasters. “This extension of our service means more people will enjoy the numerous benefits of natural gas as we continue to provide excellent value to this region and service to our customers, community members and shareholders.”
Sandpiper Energy has converted more than 4,000 homes and businesses since the project was initiated in 2013. When the Ocean City system is fully converted to natural gas, the net effect will be reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by over 3,000 tons. With over 3,500 accounts in Ocean City expected to convert and taking into consideration the tourism season, the process will likely take several years to complete.
“We are excited to bring natural gas service to Ocean City,” said Chesapeake Utilities Vice President Jim Moore. “We have a long-standing history in meeting the energy needs of the Delmarva Peninsula and our employees look forward to serving the Worcester County community.”