Thursday, February 15, 2007

More on Astoria's Power Plants

From the Queens Gazette, new boilers are going in. Apparently these boilers are more efficient, burn natural gas instead of oil, and use less water from the East River, "significantly reducing impact on aquatic life in the river." If you have concerns or questions about this, there's a contact number at the end of the article.
Power Plant Expansion Imminent

Officials at the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are finalizing plans for the renewal of a pollution discharge permit for the Astoria Generating Station, along with plans for expansion of the plant.

The Astoria Generating Station at 18-01 20th Ave., is located within the Astoria Con Edison site. The station is one of several plants located in Astoria, where approximately 60 per cent of the city's electricity is generated.

The plant, formerly owned and operated by Orion Power and Reliant Energy, is now the property of U.S. Power Generation, officials said. State environmental officials approved expansion of the site in 2003 under plans that call for replacement of four boiler units with six turbines--changes that would increase total output by 550 megawatts, increasing output from 1,250 to 1,800 MW, officials said.

The increased production is not expected to affect air quality in the surrounding communities, state officials said. New turbines slated for installation under the plan are more efficient, and would burn natural gas as a primary fuel, they said. Boilers currently operating at the site use natural gas and oil; both generate pollutants, the officials said.

The new equipment would use approximately 95 per cent less water from the East River for its operation, significantly reducing impact on aquatic life in the river, state officials said.

DEC officials are expected to modify the permit prior to final approval to give plant owners an opportunity to study the effects of the plant's operation on fish and other organisms in the East River.

For further information or to register comments with DEC officials, write to Christopher Hogan at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233, call Hogan at 518.402.9167, or e-mail

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