Greenidge Generation looks to re-start shut unit at New York power plant

Greenidge Generation LLC on Sept. 10 applied at the New York State Public Service Commission for an Original Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) so it can re-start a long-shut coal unit at the Greenidge power plant on natural gas.

Greenidge Generation is the owner of the Greenidge Generating Station located in the Town of Torrey, Yates County, New York. In this proceeding, Greenidge seeks commission approvals required to return the existing Greenidge Unit 4 to service as a merchant generating facility operating in the wholesale power markets administered by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). The company said it is working on the needed air permits and other regulatory approvals for this project.

Greenidge requested expedited action in order to permit the facility to be fully operational upon the issuance of the air permits, or as soon as possible thereafter. Greenidge said in the application, dated Sept. 9 and filed on Sept. 10, that it anticipates that New York regulators will issue the air permits on or about Nov. 1, 2015.

Greenidge Generation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenidge Generation Holdings LLC, which has two upstream members:

  • Atlas Capital Resources (P) LP, which owns less than 5%; and
  • Atlas Capital Resources (A9) LP, which owns the remaining interest.

Atlas Capital Resources (A9) owns no other businesses. Atlas Capital Resources (P) is wholly owned by Atlas Capital GP LP, which in turn is wholly owned by Andrew M. Bursky and Timothy J. Fazio (referred to as “the Two Principals”).

The Greenidge Unit 4 is an existing 106.3 MW steam turbine facility originally constructed by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) in 1953. In 1998, the commission authorized NYSEG to sell the facility along with certain other generating facilities to AES NY LLC.

In September 2010, AEE2 LLC informed the commission that it was then the owner of the facility and that it intended to place it into protective lay-up in March 2011. The facility has remained in protective lay-up and has not produced electricity since that date.

There was a bankruptcy earlier this decade for the involved AES companies. AEE2 informed the commission in September 2012 of its intention to permanently retire the facility in September 2012. Thereafter, the facility was sold to GMMM Holdings LLC, which in turn sold the facility to Greenidge Generation in February 2014.

Greenidge said it has applied to NYISO for a new interconnection agreement for the facility. The System Reliability Impact Study (SRIS) for the facility was approved by NYISO’s Operating Committee on Feb. 5, 2015, and the facility is now participating in NYISO’s 2015 Class Year Facilities Study. Greenidge anticipates that it will obtain Energy Resource Interconnection rights from NYISO before the end of this year, and that it will obtain Capacity Resource Interconnection rights from NYISO by the Summer of 2016.

The “Two Principals” also own and operate a diversified group of manufacturing, distribution, service and trading businesses. The energy-related holdings of the Two Principals include Greenidge Pipeline LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corp. (collectively called “the Greenidge Pipeline Entities”).

The Greenidge Pipeline Entities were formed to construct an intrastate natural gas pipeline that will connect the Greenidge facility to the Empire Connector interstate natural gas pipeline. The Greenidge Pipeline Entities are currently preparing an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for this new pipeline facility. At the present time, the Greenidge Pipeline Entities have no plans to provide natural gas delivery services for any customer other than Greenidge Generation.

On July 30, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a notice of complete application for the air permits and a declaration of its finding that returning the existing facility to operation would have no significant adverse impacts on the environment. On Aug. 12, DEC published notice that various draft permits are available for 30 days for review and comment. Under DEC’s draft air permits, the facility is allowed to operate on biomass and natural gas as well as fuel oil (primarily for flame stabilization and startup) but will no longer be authorized to operate on coal. Greenidge said it will subsequently and voluntarily upgrade the facility to enable it to operate entirely on natural gas. These upgrades will not alter the nameplate capacity of the facility.

A company contact is: Dale Irwin, Greenidge Generation LLC, 590 Plant Rd., PO Box 187, Dresden, NY 14441-0187, (315) 536-3423.

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.