FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2005
Schumer Calls For Modernization Of Northport, Port Jefferson Power Plants; Long Island Among Worst In Nation For Smog And Ozone Levels
New Design of Power Plants Could Lead to Lower Electricity Costs For Consumers While Reducing Pollutants From Each Plant on Long Island by 90% Schumer: Repowering is Doable now, Asks LIPA and Keyspan to Sit Down, Map Out a Plan by New Year Asthma, Other Respiratory Problems Have Greatly Increased in Region as a Reusult of Dirty Power Plants
As Long Island is ranked among the worst in the northeast for ozone and smog levels, and asthma and other respiratory problems have greatly increased in the region, today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called for the modernization of the Northport, Barrett and Port Jefferson Power Plants. These plants are among the oldest and largest individual sources of polluting gases in the nation. Schumer also called for a meeting between LIPA and Keyspan to come up with an approach to the modernization plan by the New Year.
“This is a triple win for Long Island, less air pollution, a boost in energy capacity and lower rates. There is no good reason to delay this project. Instead of allowing LIPA and Keyspan to dance around each other, they need to sit down together and create solutions for both the long and short term energy problems here on Long Island,” Schumer said.
“The modernization of Long Island’s antiquated power plants is not only necessary, but also long overdue. A repowering of the plants will lead to a major reduction in air pollution and a significant boost in energy capacity for Long Islanders. I applaud Senator Schumer for calling on LIPA and Keyspan to get moving on implementing a real plan for action,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island
The Barrett, Northport, and Port Jefferson plants cause some of the most harmful emissions, as they are not meeting the same Clean Air Act emissions standards that newly constructed plants are held to. The plants were grandfathered in when the law was passed because most experts didn’t believe that the plants would stay open because of their age. Now however, they don’t meet federal standards, and are some of the dirtiest power plants in the Northeast. Modernizing the facilities would bring them up to the federal standard. Northport is the largest oil-fired electric generating station on the East coast. It was built, designed and operated with equipment and technology of the 1960s and 1970s.
With demand for a long term energy plan growing on Long Island, repowering antiquated existing power plants translates into increased efficiency and reduced emissions potential. Modernizing or repowering, is the process whereby old, highly inefficient and dirty oil-burning power plants are temporarily shut down and replaced with cleaner, state-of-the-art efficient combined-cycle generation technologies. The process can significantly reduce emissions and double the amount of power produced.
If the power plants were repowered and operated at their current level of generation, the Northport plant would experience a 90% reduction in NOx emissions, 95% reduction in SO2 emissions, 86% reduction in CO2 emissions, and 85% reduction in particulate emissions. Port Jefferson would experience an 80% reduction in NOx emissions, 98% reduction in SO2, 84% reduction in CO2, and 83% reduction in particulates.
Experts say that repowering could add as many as 4,700 megawatts to the on Island capacity, and repowering the old plants is far less costly than building a new plant. There would be a $200-$400 per kilowatt cost savings for repowering over building a new combined cycle plant due to the many components and systems that are already in place and can be utilized at existing sites such as land, electric and gas transmission systems, and most importantly, the steam generator.
Schumer today called on LIPA and Keyspan to come together to create a repowering plan by 2006 that is part of the next long term purchasing agreement and can be used as a starting point to come up with a long-term solution to energy needs. Repowering increases efficiencies and air quality, decreases fuel usage increases capacity, increases tax benefits, creates jobs, reduces global warming and other harm to environment, benefits public health, improves reliability of on-island generation and decreases medical and health costs.
‘The bottom line is, we need to modernize our plants and use technology that is more efficient and burns cleaner, and we need Keyspan and LIPA to sign on and work together,” Schumer said.
Last week, on August 3, was the second highest day on record for power consumption with use of 5,527 megawatts of electricity, just 12 megawatts short of the high. One megawatt is enough electricity to supply about 1,000 homes. The grid currently has an 800 megawatt margin of safety, but this shows Long Islander’s voracious appetite for energy is only growing. Long Island will continue to need more energy from additional sources.
“Several years ago I stood here on Long Island with LIPA, Keyspan, and NRDC to call for the construction of the Spagnoli Road power plant. The equipment, designs, and plans are all in place, yet the plant has yet to be built. Instead of having more, cleaner energy and having saved almost $40 million no progress has been made As part of its plan to move forward on repowering, LIPA and Keyspan should figure out how to get this plant built,” Schumer said.
Senator Schumer was joined today by Matthew C. Cordaro, Associate Dean, College of Management Director Center for Management Analysis at Long Island University, Jason Babbie of NYPIRG and Mark Serotoff, Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Alliance of LI.