New York PSC okays gas pipeline for the to-be-converted Dunkirk power plant

The New York State Public Service Commission on March 2 granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. (NFG) to construct and operate a natural gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities that will support the planned coal-to-gas conversion of NRG Energy‘s (NYSE: NRG) Dunkirk coal plant.

The 9.7-mile pipeline project will be located in the Towns of Dunkirk, Pomfret, and Arkwright, the City of Dunkirk, and the Village of Fredonia, Chautauqua County.

“The purpose of the proposed transmission line is to serve the Dunkirk Power Generating Station owned by Dunkirk Power, LLC, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Corporation (NRG), and a critical employer in the region,” said the PSC order. “The provision of gas transportation service will allow the conversion from coal to natural gas combustion at the Dunkirk Power Generating Station, which will improve regional environmental conditions. The line will also provide a reliability benefit to NFG’s customers.”

NRG Energy’s own Dunkirk Gas Corp. had applied with the commission for approval of a pipeline that would serve only the power plant. Because of the competing applications to serve the Dunkirk station, a common record proceeding, including public hearing, was initiated.

On Jan. 12, Dunkirk Gas advised the commission and parties to the matter that it had agreed in principle to accept the bid pricing offered by NFG to construct and operate NFG’s proposed pipeline on its proposed route.

NFG plans to construct a new high-pressure natural gas transmission line from the existing 24-inch interstate Tennessee Gas pipeline (TGP 200) in the Town of Arkwright to the Dunkirk station in the City of Dunkirk. The proposed route is 9.7 miles long and will be built adjacent to existing rights-of-way (ROW) for a distance of 6.85 miles.

The PSC has already approved the coal-to-gas conversion plan for the Dunkirk plant, with the conversion to be completed by around the end of 2015.

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.