Permitting work ongoing for coal-to-gas conversion at RED-Rochester in New York

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is out for comment until Nov,. 25 on a draft Title V air permit change that covers repowering work at the Eastman Business Park in Rochester owned by RED-Rochester LLC.

Said a supporting air document: “This modification application addresses RED’s plan to replace the powerhouse’s current combustion infrastructure, referred to as emission unit U-00015 in the permit, with one natural gas fired turbine, one heat recovery steam generating unit, three natural gas fired high pressure boilers, one dual fired medium pressure boiler and conversion of the existing pulverized coal fired boiler #44 to natural gas. Existing coal fired boilers #42 and #43 are to be phased out and decommissioned.”

The RED-Rochester facility includes coal-, oil- and natural gas-fired boilers producing steam and electrical power for commercial customers in the Eastman Business Park. Other RED operations include wastewater treatment operations, wastewater sludge incineration, solvent based metal part cleaning operations, and emergency power generator operations. RED’s operations occur in eight buildings in Eastman Business Park, Buildings 31, 321, 371, M90, 95, 91, R16, and 96. RED’s emergency generating operations occur throughout the Eastman Business Park.

Ironclad Energy Ventures LLC on Sept. 22 announced the formation of Ironclad Energy Partners and the acquisition of RED Investment LLC and its portfolio of four U.S. cogeneration and power facilities. Led by power industry veterans John Prunkl and Christopher Fanella, Ironclad Energy Partners is a joint investment vehicle formed with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners to acquire, develop, own and operate middle-market power generation facilities and utilities across North America.

Ironclad’s first acquisition is RED Investment, owner of four cogeneration and power facilities located in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California. The largest of the four wholly-owned assets is the RED-Rochester facility at the Eastman Business Park (EBP). EBP is a 1,200-acre business park serving more than 70 industrial and commercial customers, including Eastman Kodak Co.

“We are proud to partner with Ironclad and take this important first step in building a platform of power generation facilities and utility operations,” said Luke Taylor, Senior Managing Director of Stonepeak. “We look forward to working closely with the management team of Ironclad in this first investment and to making additional acquisitions.”

RED-Rochester is a utility franchise that includes a tri-generation power plant providing electricity, steam, and refrigeration for use by its customers within EBP. At this point, RED Rochester is powered by three coal-fired boilers and includes assets used to generate, collect, treat, and/or distribute, power, multiple pressures of steam, compressed air, demineralized water, natural gas, high-purity water, nitrogen, 9º calcium chloride brine, chilled water, industrial water, potable water, fire water and industrial wastewater. 

With the close of the RED Investment acquisition, Ironclad is committing additional capital to replace the coal-fired powerhouse with a clean-burning natural gas fueled cogeneration facility. 

“With the conversion from coal to gas, RED Rochester will have a clean and efficient facility that will reliably and economically serve EBP customers for the foreseeable future,” said John Prunkl, CEO of Ironclad. “Work has already begun on the conversion and should be complete with four new natural gas boilers coming on-line by Q1, 2018. The conversion significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which will benefit the Rochester area as well as New York State.”

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.