Ten generators to help New York City in hot summer getting heat

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Ten generators to help New York City in hot summer getting heat

By LYNN BREZOSKY The Associated Press 1/12/01 7:57 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- State officials Friday evening announced plans to allow construction of ten -- and possibly 11 -- New York City-area power plants as a preventive measure against midsummer power brownouts.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Cahill issued three-year air control permits that allow construction of the plants at six facilities in New York City and one on Long Island.

The plants are relatively small. Each 140-foot-long, 40-foot-high turbine is limited to 47 megawatts generating capacity compared to a more typical power plant's 500 to 1,000 megawatts.

The DEC considers the plants a short-term solution to an immediate problem, DEC spokeswoman Jennifer Post said. "There's an increasing need for power in the state, particularly in New York City, and these plants will address that," Post said.

The permits will allow construction of:

--two gas-fired turbines at the Harlem River rail yards at East 132nd Street

--two more turbines for Hell Gate between East 132nd and East 134th streets and Locust Avenue in the Bronx

--one at North 1st Street and River Street in Brooklyn

--two at 23rd Street and Third Avenue in Brooklyn

--two at 42-30 Vernon Boulevard in Queens

--one at the former Pilgrim State Hospital in Brentwood, Suffolk County.

The DEC is presently fielding public comment for yet another facility for Pouch Terminal at Lyndhurst Avenue and Edgewater on Staten Island.

The 11 generators will cost $450 million, which the New York Power Authority will pay for in its budget, not through tax dollars, according to agency spokesman Mike Petralia. They will be purchased from General Electric.

Kyle Rabin of the Albany-based Environmental Advocates said news of the permits would be a disappointment to environmental lobbyists, who felt the state avoided public scrutiny in pursuing the plants, while failing to seek innovative ways to save energy.

The 47-megawatt generators don't require a time-consuming environmental evaluation called an Article 10 review that is required of generators 80 megawatts and larger. In four sites that will each have two units, the output will be held to 79.9 megawatts, according to the Power Authority, a move that will avoid the additional review by .1 megawatt.

Rabin also suggested that the DEC hoped to avoid scrutiny by announcing the proposal at the start of a holiday weekend. Furthermore, he noted, the announcement of the initial proposal came at the start of the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Almost everyone involved in the environmental movement is opposed to these turbines," Rabin said. "You're just adding to pollution in areas that are already burdened by industry. We're very disappointed in the governor's decision to move forward with these turbines."

But NYPA spokesman Petralia said a "zero-net emissions" policy will ensure that residents suffer no added pollution. NYPA has invested $55 million to ensure the cleanest burning method available, and will offset whatever emissions are produced by helping nearby industries curb their emissions, he said.

In October, the state Department of Public Service cited "an urgent and compelling need" for more power in the city by summer. The generators are needed to meet the demand for air conditioners and other power, a demand that contributed to a 19-hour blackout in Washington Heights two summers ago. State officials said few problems were reported last summer because of unusually cool temperatures.

A booming economy has also taxed the city's energy supply, and the city needs to continue fueling the economy, Petralia said.

"We basically dodged a bullet last summer," Petralia said. "But as you know we had an exceptionally cool summer. We're trying to prevent what's happening in California."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), January 12, 2001


I hope these are co-generation units because if they are gas turbines driving a generators with no recovery of heat from the hot gases, New York is going to use much gas to produce those KW's.

-- David Williams (DAVIDWILL@prodigy.net), January 13, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ