Caithness seeks New York approval for 752-MW Long Island project

Caithness Long Island II LLC on June 30 filed an application with the New York State Public Service Commission to develop a dual-fuel, combined-cycle facility, with a nominal rating of 752 MW, in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, N.Y.

Caithness is asking for both a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to develop, operate and own the project, and a lightened regulatory regime that normally goes to competitive wholesale generators.

“Caithness respectfully requests prompt review of this petition so that it is afforded sufficient time to meet the Long Island Power Authority‘s (‘LIPA’) planned Project in-service date of no later than May 1, 2018,” the application noted.

In July 2013, LIPA staff announced the selection of this project as the finalist in connection with its 2010 Request for Proposals to Provide Electric Capacity, Energy and Ancillary Services, subject to Caithness satisfactorily completing the necessary environmental review being conducted by the Town of Brookhaven and negotiating an acceptable power purchase agreement (PPA) with LIPA. Those PPA talks continue, said the application.

The project will be located on an 81-acre industrially-zoned parcel of land that borders the site of the Caithness Long Island Energy Center (CLIEC), a 350-MW gas-fired, combined-cycle plant that is owned by Caithness Long Island LLC, an affiliate of CLI-II.

CLI-II is a subsidiary of Caithness Long Island II Holdings LLC, which is a subsidiary of Caithness Suffolk Holdings LLC, which is a subsidiary of Caithness Energy LLC. Caithness Energy and its affiliates have successfully developed, operated, and owned interests in 42 operating power projects including over 3,000 MW of gas turbine projects, 1,190 MW of wind projects, 495 MW of geothermal projects, 160 MW of solar projects, and a 110-mile, 230-kV transmission line running from Dixie Valley, Nev., to Bishop, Calif. CLI-II will own no other electric generating facility.

The project will interconnect with LIPA’s 138-kV transmission system at LIPA’s existing Sills Road Substation, which is located within the 81-acre project site. Natural gas will be delivered to the project site through one of several pipeline projects that are under consideration.

Project to feature two General Electric combustion turbines

The plant’s power block will consist of two F-Class (General Electric 207FA.05) heavy duty combustion turbines that will each drive a combustion turbine generator. Each combustion turbine will be equipped with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The HRSGs will provide steam through a common header to a single steam turbine, which will drive a steam turbine generator to produce additional electric power. Each HRSG will be equipped with natural gas-fired duct burners (i. e., supplemental firing system). The facility will be designed to operate as a baseload plant with flexible operation, rapid response features.

The facility will also be equipped with emergency diesel generators to provide emergency power for safe shutdown and start readiness in the event of a system-wide power outage.

Natural gas will be the primary fuel with provisions to use ultra-low sulfur distillate (ULSD) for up to 720 hours per year as a back-up fuel. Providing back-up fuel capability enhances electrical distribution system reliability if natural gas supplies are disrupted. To accommodate short-term operation using ULSD, the project will include two 800,000-gallon fuel oil storage tanks and associated facilities on the project site. ULSD will be delivered to the facility via tanker truck, and off-loaded at a tanker truck unloading area specifically designed for this purpose.

The application noted about the need for this project: “LIPA recently updated its need analyses which confirm the need for the CLI-II Project. As shown on the table prepared by LIPA in February 2014, LIPA now projects a need for 520 MW of new generating resources by 2018, assuming 436 MW of planned demand reductions. LIPA also projects a need for 839 MW in 2022, assuming 597 MW of planned demand reductions. LIPA’s projected need in 2018 would increase by 405 MW if the Port Jefferson plant was removed from service in 2018 for repowering.”

The application added: “NYISO recently released its Power Trends 2014 Report. The Report explains that the southeastern region of New York, which includes Long Island (Zone K), New York City (Zone J) and the lower Hudson Valley (Zone G-I), consumes nearly two thirds of the electricity in the state, but is capable of generating less than half of the state’s power, while transmission constraints continue to limit the efficient dispatch of electricity to southeastern New York from other regions. In addition, while the state currently still has a surplus over capacity requirements, that surplus has dropped by 3,100 MWs over the last two years alone. Power plant retirements have contributed to this trend.”

A project contact is: Ross Ain, Caithness Long Island II LLC, 565 Fifth Avenue, 29th Floor, New York, New York 10017, (212) 921-9099.

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.