New York PSC okays gas pipeline to support Greenidge coal-to-gas conversion

The New York State Public Service Commission on Sept. 16 approved an October 2015 application from Greenidge Pipeline LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corp. for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (CECPN) on a new gas pipeline to support a coal-to-gas conversion of the Greenidge power plant.

Said the commission order: “The CECPN would authorize the construction and operation of a fuel gas transmission line eight inches in diameter and approximately 4.6 miles in length, together with a tap, metering station and regulating station. The transmission line will have a maximum allowable operating pressure of 1,440 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) but will be operated initially at 800 PSIG. In this order, the relief requested is granted, subject to appropriate terms and conditions.”

The tap would be on National Fuel Gas Co.’s Empire Connector in the Town of Milo, Yates County, and the transmission line will provide gas to the Greenidge generating facility in the Town of Torrey, Yates County.

The commission order added: “The Pipeline Companies state that the Pipeline is needed to deliver natural gas to the Greenidge Power Plant, a 106.4 MW generating station owned by Greenidge Generation LLC (Generation), an affiliate of the Pipeline Companies. The Greenidge Power Plant was originally constructed by New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) in 1953 and operated primarily on coal until it was placed into protective lay-up in 2011. As part of its efforts to resume operation of the Greenidge Power Plant, Generation has stated that it will no longer fuel the plant with coal. Accordingly, the Pipeline would be the only source capable of delivering sufficient quantities of natural gas to the Greenidge Power Plant to permit it to operate to its full capacity. Once the Pipeline is in place, Generation states that it intends to operate as a merchant generating facility in the competitive wholesale power markets administered by the New York Independent System Operator.”

The PSC on Sept. 16 separately approved a September 2015 petition from Greenidge Generation for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to obtain the commission approvals required to resume the operation of Unit #4 of the Greenidge Generating Station, which has been out of service since March 2011.

Greenidge Generation owns Unit #4, a 106.3-MW steam turbine unit originally constructed by New York State Electric & Gas in 1953. In 1998, the commission authorized NYSEG to sell the facility along with certain other generating facilities. The facility was sold earlier this decade to GMMM Holdings LLC, which in turn transferred the facility to its affiliate GMMM Greenidge Generation LLC. Greenidge Generation Holdings LLC acquired GMMM Generation in February 2014 and changed the name of that entity to Greenidge Generation.

Greenidge Generation has applied to NYISO for a new interconnection agreement for the facility. The System Reliability Impact Study for Unit #4 was approved by NYISO’s Operating Committee in February 2015, and Unit #4 is now participating in NYISO’s 2015 Class Year Facilities Study. Greenidge Generation anticipated that it would obtain Energy Resource Interconnection rights from NYISO before the end of 2015 and Capacity Resource Interconnection rights by the Summer of 2016.

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.