The major changes that will be occurring within the new merged partnership are exciting in many ways. First, we will have the highest forecast distribution growth rate of any of the major MLPs. Second, our coverage will be above average for the same peer group with expected $1.1 billion of excess cash flow coverage through 2017 and the Access cash flows, along with our major new fee based projects continue to dramatically reduce exposure to commodity prices.
A major change is afoot as we combine both WPZ and Access into the large scale natural gas infrastructure MLP. And the team here at WPZ is very energized right now as we're on the verge of a major $1 billion boost in our annual cash flows that we expect to come from three major projects Geismar, Gulfstar and the Keathley Canyon Connector all of which have reached the commissioning stage here in the fourth quarter.
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These new prospective projects include the Appalachian Connector and the Diamond East projects, both are major new projects that connect the burgeoning supplies from the Marcellus and Utica directly to growing demand on Transco that is anxious to see the supplies coming their way as those markets strive to grow as well.
The strong and undeniable fundamentals of low-cost clean energy and the cheapest petrochemical feed-stocks in the world will prevail we believe and we're seeing the demand pool beginning to grow. We have continued to position ourselves in a way that will catch this very sustainable and fundamentally supported wave of volume growth and at the same time, help our customer base achieve their lofty goals of growth as well.