Greenidge Pipeline seeks okay for pipeline to converted coal plant in New York

Greenidge Pipeline LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corp. filed on Sept. 24 with the New York State Public Service Commission for approvals, including a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, for a natural gas pipeline project to serve the Greenidge power plant, which the plant owner plans to convert from burning coal to gas.

In this proceeding, the applicants are seeking authorization for Greenidge Pipeline to exercise the rights granted under its road crossing agreement with the Town of Torrey in Yates County, New York. In addition, applicants also seek incidental or lightened regulation of their operation of a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Towns of Torrey and Milo in Yates County under the provisions of a long-term gas transportation agreement with Greenidge Generation LLC. The companies are seeking expedited approval of this application.

Greenidge Pipeline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenidge Generation Holdings LLC. Greenidge Generation Holdings 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 (P) LP is wholly owned by Atlas Capital GP LP, which in turn is wholly owned by Andrew M. Bursky and Timothy J. Fazio. Greenidge Properties is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenidge Pipeline.

The planned pipeline will be eight inches in diameter with a maximum allowed operating pressure (MAOP) of 1,440 pounds per square inch and will extend approximately 4.5 miles from an nterconnection with the Empire Connector interstate natural gas pipeline in the Town of Milo, Yates County, to the Greenidge Generating Station located in the Town of Torrey in Yates County. The pipeline will be used solely to supply natural gas to Greenidge Generation Unit 4.

Greenidge Generation is the owner of the power plant. Like Greenidge Pipeline, Greenidge Generation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenidge Generation Holdings. The plant was originally constructed by New York State Electric & Gas in 1953. In 1999, NYSEG sold the plant and other generating facilities to AES NY LLC. AES informed the commission in September 2012 of its intention to permanently retire the facility that same month. The plant has not operated since then and was subsequently sold in bankruptcy to GMMM Generation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GMMM Generation Holdings LLC. GMMM Generation Holdings sold the membership interests in GMMM Generation to Greenidge Generation Holdings in February 2014. Upon consummation of this transaction, GMMM Generation’s name was changed to Greenidge Generation LLC.

Greenidge Generation has applied to the New York ISO for a new interconnection agreement for the facility and has also applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for the air and water permits required to resume operations. Greenidge Generation anticipates that it will receive its air and water permits from DEC and Energy Resource Interconnection rights from NYISO before the end of the year, and that it will obtain Capacity Resource Interconnection rights from NYISO by the Summer 2016.

Approval also being sought to revive the power plant

Greenidge Generation on Sept. 10 applied at the New York PSC for an Original Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) so it can re-start Greenidge Unit 4. 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 Unit 4 is a 106.3-MW steam turbine facility. 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.

On July 30, the New York 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.