Draft environmental report outlines Indian Point fallback options

The New York State Department of Public Service staff on July 15 filed a draft environmental report with the New York State Public Service Commission that runs down the transmission and power generation projects offered as Indian Point nuclear plant shutdown alternatives.

The PSC required Consolidated Edison, in cooperation with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to develop a contingency plan to ensure an adequate and reliable power supply in the event that the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) is not available in the summer of 2016, upon the expiration of its license to operate. The proposed IPEC Reliability Contingency Plan contains three types of solutions to address that scenario: new transmission facilities, new generation supplies, and energy efficiency/demand response measures.

In an order issued on May 21, the PSC, acting as lead agency, found that approval of the Contingency Plan may lead to significant adverse impacts on the environment, and that a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) should be prepared to assess those potential impacts. The report filed July 15 constitutes the Draft GEIS.

The planning exercise that is supported by this Draft GEIS does not involve any determination as to whether the IPEC should or should not be relicensed. The focus of the analysis is the potential environmental impacts that may flow from the implementation of a plan for the near-term retirement of this nuclear facility. The Draft GEIS compares the conditions that would exist if IPEC were not available against those that would exist if the contingency plan were implemented.

A number of projects have been proposed to address the potential unavailability of the IPEC. The projects being considered for inclusion in the Contingency Plan are located throughout New York State, with the greatest concentration of proposed facilities in the Hudson River corridor, New York City, and Nassau County. The majority of the proposed generation projects are natural gas-fueled combined-cycle facilities, although several would be capable of using fuel oil. The transmission projects can be divided into land-based overhead AC transmission projects and in-water or underground DC cable projects. One battery storage facility was also proposed.

The Feb. 1 filing of the conceptual Contingency Plan, subsequently approved in the PSC’s April 19 order, proposed certain threshold criteria for an initial screening of responses. Submittals meeting these criteria would then be subject to a more complete evaluation process by DPS staff. The DPS staff has been directed by the PSC to evaluate the Transmission Owner Transmission Solutions (TOTS) projects and the projects submitted in response to the request for proposals (RFP) and make a recommendation regarding the preferred combination of projects that should be included in the Contingency Plan.

Based on a deficiency analysis performed using the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Reliability Needs Assessment (RNA) by Con Edison, it was determined that retirement of Indian Point would result in an overall deficiency of 1,350 MW to 1,375 MW.

Transmission, power generation project proposals were made

Three TOTS projects were proposed:

  • Development of a second Ramapo-to-Rock Tavern 345-kV transmission line (RRT Line);
  • Development of a Staten Island Un-bottling (SIU) project; and
  • Development of the Marcy South Series Compensation (MSSC) and Fraser-to-Coopers Corners Re-Conductoring project.

The proposed generation projects are:

CCI Roseton CCNG – This is a 600-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle facility in Newburg, NY. It would be constructed on the existing Roseton station site. It has a target operation date of early 2018. The project would take advantage of existing ties into the municipal water supply and preexisting on-site processes for water treatment. The project would need to obtain an Article 10 permit and other major permits before construction.

CPV Valley CCNG – The CPV project is a 667-MW natural gas, combined- cycle power plant in Wawayanda, N.Y. The project has obtained a final EIS and several other permits and approvals. It is expected to be operational before June 2016.

Cricket Valley CCNG – The Cricket valley project is a 1,000-MW gas-fired, combined-cycle plant being developed in Dover, N.Y. A final EIS has been completed and the generation project has received all required permits. Other permits would be required for electric transmission and natural gas tie-ins. It is scheduled to be operational by June 2016.

GE Energy Linden – This is a proposed 200-MW expansion of an existing generating facility in Linden, N.J. The facility would consist of two natural gas-fired simple cycle combustion turbines. It would be constructed on a parcel within the Bayway refinery. The project would access all required infrastructure/services (water, gas, waste water) through the existing Linden Cogen facility. The project is expected to obtain all required permits by February 2015 and be operational by June 2016. GE also proposes to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to sell up to 255 MW of existing capacity from Linden 1.

NRG Astoria – This is a proposed 520-MW repowering of the NRG Astoria facility located in Queens, N.Y. Seven oil-burning units would be replaced with two natural gas-fired combined-cycle turbines. The project would be located within the Astoria Con Edison complex. It is fully permitted and expected to be in service by June 2016.

NRG Bowline 2 – This project is a proposed 564-MW repowering of the NRG Bowline 2 facility. NRG owns and operates two dual-fuel (No. 6 fuel oil and natural gas) utility boiler/steam turbine units located in West Haverstraw, N.Y. No new major permits are required for the project. Two minor modifications to the existing air permit would be obtained prior to construction. The project is expected to be in service by June 2016.

NRG Bowline 3 – NRG presented the Bowline 3 Project, a combined-cycle project with an approximate net plant output of 775 MW. NRG is not able to offer a conforming, binding bid featuring Bowline 3 at this time because of the requirement in the RFP to be operational by 2016.

Selkirk CoGen – The proposal is to provide power from an existing 345 MW natural gas-fired cogen located in Selkirk, N.Y. Three-quarters of the facility’s current generation is under contract with Con Edison, with the contract due to expire in August 2014. The rest of the power is being sold into the merchant market. The facility is fully permitted.

US PowerGen – The Luyster Creek proposal has two options.

  • Option A – Starting June 2017, provide 430 MW of power from a new 430 MW combined-cycle, natural gas unit that would be located in the fuel oil tank farm at the Astoria Generating Station (AGS) in Queens, N.Y.; and from June 2016 until June 2017 provide the 430 MW from the repowered 387 MW Astoria Unit 40, a dual-fueled (natural gas and No. 6 oil) unit that would be converted to ultra-low sulfur diesel by June 2017, also located at the AGS (the Luyster Creek facility would not be on-line until June 2017). Unit 40 would be on-line by June 2016.
  • Option B – provide 430 MW of power from the Luyster Creek facility starting in June 2017.

US PowerGen Unit 40 upgrade – This proposal is to provide the 430 MW from the repair and restoration of the 387 MW Astoria Unit 4, a dual-fueled (natural gas and No. 6 oil) unit that has been out of service since July 2011. Under the Luyster Option A proposal described above, Unit 40 would be converted to ultra-low sulfur diesel by 2017. That is not the case under this option. The restoration of this unit would require the modification of its Title V air permit.

US PowerGen Oil, the South Pier Improvement Project – This project is in permitting and capable of meeting the 2016 start date. It is a proposal for a floating barge with a 100-MW natural gas-fired plant with a 30-day ultra-low sulfur diesel backup to be moored at the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

NYC Energy floating power plant – This proposal is to provide 79.9 MW from a combined-cycle natural gas facility that would be located on a floating barge adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, N.Y. The facility is currently permitted to operate for up to 905 hours per year on low-sulfur oil. All regulatory approvals for the project have been obtained but additional property interest must be acquired for interconnections.

AES proposes 300 MW of storage battery capacity at various locations

There was also the proposed battery storage project from AES Long Island. This project would provide up to 300 MW of battery storage capacity at a facility to be constructed at one of the following location(s):

  • Site #1: Indian Head substation, Smithtown, Suffolk County (Zone K)
  • Site #2: Hellgate/Bruckner substation, Bronx, Bronx (Zone J)
  • Site #3: Vernon substation or Rainey substation, Long Island City, Queens (Zone J)
  • Site #4: Eastview substation or Elmsford substation, Elmsford, Westchester County (Zone I)
  • Site #5: Sprain Brook substation, Yonkers, Westchester County (Zone I)

The proposal offers a flexible configuration of 100 MW, 200 MW, or 300 MW capacity. It would not use any gas or liquid fuels; grid electricity would fuel the project. The facility would be powered by sealed battery energy storage devices and would have no emissions.

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.