Philly Council considers ways of positioning city as energy hub

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 Philadelphia Energy Solutions' Point Breeze refinery along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. (Kellie McGinn/Philadelphia Energy Solutions)

Philadelphia Energy Solutions' Point Breeze refinery along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. (Kellie McGinn/Philadelphia Energy Solutions)

At a special meeting Friday, City Council members talked about how to maximize revenue from the Philadelphia Gas Works. It was the first of what’s expected to be a series of hearing on Philadelphia’s energy future.

A council panel is reviewing ideas for generating more revenue from PGW as well as expanding the city’s role as an energy hub.  Councilwoman Marian Tasco says the committee on energy opportunities wants to consider all the options — not just selling the utility as had been proposed by the Nutter administration — in order to maximize income.

“PGW is a very valuable asset and it is not positioned to achieve its untapped potential as a major part of the region’s energy economy,” she said.

Phillip Rinaldi of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, which owns the Point Breeze and Girard Point refineries in South Philly, said tapping into supplies of cheap Marcellus Shale gas via a new pipeline could help the city attract manufacturing businesses.

The ready energy supply would create “an intense level of economic opportunity that will benefit PES as, well as the region,” he said.

A public-private or even a public-public partnership are options on the table.

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