Astoria Generating works on new power projects in New York City

Astoria Generating Co. LP, a unit of US Power Generating Co., has plans in the works under two separate projects for the expansion of power generating facilities in New York City.

Astoria Generating was one of a number of parties that recently pitched to the New York Power Authority ideas for new power generation and transmission projects under the state’s Energy Highway initiative. That program is designed to come up with viable options to ensure the state’s energy future. The authority will be taking public comment on them until July 31.

The South Pier Improvement Project is shovel-ready with all major permits designed to provide power to the Gowanus and Greenwood areas, said the Astoria Generating proposal. Building of the South Pier project at the Gowanus Generating Station would reduce existing air emissions by about 49% while providing an increase in needed generating capacity of about 100 MW in the highest-priced, most electrically constrained area of Brooklyn, the company added.

Astoria Generating, acquired by USPowerGen in February 2006, owns and operates fifty-three generating units at three facilities in New York City with a total summer capacity of over 2,164 MW. These facilities operate in, and generate electricity for, New York City’s power market (Zone J), which is administered by the New York ISO. The three facilities are the Astoria Generating Station, the Gowanus Gas Turbine Facility and the Narrows Gas Turbine Facility.

The generating units at the Gowanus and Narrows facilities are peaking units located in Brooklyn. Gowanus has 32 units (16 dual-fuel) with a summer capacity rating of 559 MW. In addition to these facilities, Astoria Generating has two development projects — each of which is being individually submitted in response to the authority’s request for information.

South Pier is permitted and would use GE turbines

The South Pier project is designed to have a capacity and energy output of 100 MW. The project is permitted on an earthen pier owned by AGC and directly adjacent to the existing floating generating facilities. The primary fuel for the South Pier will be natural gas with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) backup. The project will use the existing gas infrastructure for supply.

The South Pier project is fully permitted and awaiting construction. A contractor was competitively selected in 2010. Upon a notice to proceed, South Pier would be operational in 25 months, the company noted.

South Pier will utilize the General Electric LMS100, the first modern production gas turbine in the power generation industry to employ off-engine intercooling technology with the use of an external heat exchanger, the company said. “The LMS100 provides the highest simple cycle efficiency available in the power industry today,” it added. The quick start, load following and cycling capabilities of this technology paired with the high efficiency, low environmental impact of these units makes the technology ideal for the urban environment in New York City and for the highly congested sub-load pocket in Gowanus, the company noted.

“The South Pier is proposed by the AGC to improve the Gowanus Gas Turbine Facility,” the proposal said. “Not only will the project add 100 net new megawatts (MW) of cleaner, state-of-the-art electric generating equipment to the south pier, but it will reduce the actual net emissions from the AGC facilities in Sunset Park (including the Gowanus Gas Turbine Facility and the Narrows Gas Turbine Facility, located nearby at 53rd Street at the waterfront in Brooklyn). The South Pier consists of two distinct components: the installation of one General Electric (GE) LMS100 combustion turbine/electric generator set with ancillary components and the implementation of an overall facility emissions reduction strategy.”

The South Pier utility interconnections include an existing natural gas pipeline and a 138-kV electric transmission line to the existing, adjacent utility switchyard.

The Luyster Creek project to be located at existing oil terminal

The second Astoria Generating proposal is for the 410-MW Luyster Creek Energy Project (LCEP), to be located in Queens. The project will be constructed at the current Fuel Oil Terminal Facility (FOTF) at the company’s Astoria Facility. LCEP will fire natural gas as its primary fuel and will utilize a supplementary natural gas-fired heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). A new aboveground fuel oil tank will also be constructed on the site for the storage of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel oil as a backup fuel. Commercial operation could begin within 26-30 months of project approval, the company noted.

This project would use the Siemens SGT6-8000H combined cycle combustion turbine, which is the most advanced fossil fuel technology available on the market, the company said. The Siemens H class provides operating flexibility including fast start up and cycling capability to support intermediate as well as continuous operation. The machine also has low level turndown capability for high efficiency and low emissions.

“The low heat rates and unit flexibility make the Siemens H Class units well matched for the New York City market, displacing older units and responding to the reliability and market demands of the system,” said the proposal. “While the 50 Cycle Siemens H Class units have been in operation for several years the first 60 cycle units in the US are currently under construction. The units are readily available in the timeframe envisioned for the LCEP.”

The new project would be matched with an emissions reduction strategy for the existing plant. The existing Astoria Facility consists of three dual-fueled (natural gas and No. 6 oil) boilers, one natural gas-fueled boiler and a small simple cycle CT, with a combined generating capacity of about 1,300 MW. The fuel oil terminal is a parcel consisting of approximately 12.5 acres that is located about 2,400 feet to the northeast of the current Astoria Facility building.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.