2002-11-30 / Community

LIPA Announces Two New Power Projects

LIPA Announces Two New Power Projects

LIPA Announces Two New Power Projects

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced its intention to seek development of two new power generation projects that will be built in time to meet next summer’s peak demand period. The units will be built by two off-island private companies and will enhance Long Island’s ability to introduce competition to its service territory.

The new units will add a combined total of 134.9 megawatts (MW) of new on-island resources to help meet the growing peak and sustained summer demand. LIPA will add at least one more project by next summer, that announcement will be made next month.

Florida-based FPL Energy and New Jersey-based PSEG Power will develop the two projects. FPL will build and operate a new 55-MW unit next to its Bayswater facility in Far Rockaway. PSEG will develop a project in North Bellport that will produce 79.9 MW of electricity.

"As a result of Long Island’s soaring peak demand and the growing sustained demand for electricity on Long Island, we need to add 200 megawatts of new on-island capacity for next summer," said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. "These new units will help ensure that we will have an adequate supply of electricity to meet demand during periods of high heat and humidity, especially during an extreme heat wave, and to be available in the event Long Island loses a major transmission line or power plant during the summer."

"With the prospect of adding new, large-capacity base-load plants to supply Long Island’s ever-growing electric needs years away, we need to add more small generation units that can be used to meet next summer’s peak demand," said Mr. Kessel. "To have the new units available for next summer, we must move the projects forward now."

Kessel said that with the new units, an additional unit, and the proposed Freeport project, LIPA should have enough capacity to get Long Island through the next two summers (2003 and 2004). Kessel added that he expects a new base load plant to be on-line by the summer of 2005.

As reported by LIPA in September, LIPA delivered a total of 6,609,112 megawatt hours (MWH) of electricity to the Long Island Control Area (LICA) during the months of June, July and August, which constitutes the peak-hour demand record of 5,030 MW set only 26 days earlier on July 3. The 2001 peak-hour demand record of 4,906 MW was set on August 8, during an extreme heat wave.

In addition to exceeding the 5,000 MW level twice this summer, LIPA exceeded the 4,000 MW level a total of 29 times. However, on most of the days when peak hour demand exceeded 5,000 MW, or ran well into the high 4,000 MW level, the LICA was consuming electricity in excess of 4,000 MW for many more consecutive hours. On some peak demand days, for example, LICA demand exceeded the 4,000 MW level for as much as six to twelve consecutive hours at a time.

"Our previous 2001 record was set on the fourth day of an extreme heat wave when temperatures reached 100 degrees and the humidity was excessive, " said Mr. Kessel.. "This year’s record was set during a heat wave when temperatures were in the mid- to high-90’s. I’m convinced that we could have been an additional 100 to 150 megawatts higher than the 5,059 megawatt record set in July had we encountered an extreme heat wave similar to August of 2001, or to the extreme heat experienced during the 1999 July 4 weekend.

"Excessive heat drives everyone to use air conditioning as much as possible around the clock," said Mr. Kessel. "And it causes air conditioners to work harder to overcome the excessive heat and humidity, and can account for as much as 30% to 40% of the electricity used during periods of high heat and humidity.

"With the growing dependence on an air-conditioned environment either in the home, workplace, or in stores and restaurants, Long Island is not only demanding higher amounts of electricity during the normal peak demand hours that run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on a hot summer day, but the demand for electricity builds quicker earlier in the day, and subsides slower in the evening and overnight," said Mr. Kessel. "People want their AC when it’s hot. They want to beat the heat."

"Blackouts were avoided last summer because we added more than 400 megawatts of new on-island generation," said Mr. Kessel. "Had we not added those new generation resources, we would have been only a few megawatts away from blackouts, because we would have had no margin for the loss of an on-island generation or cable asset," noted Kessel.

"The prospect of blackouts on Long Island is unacceptable," said Mr. Kessel. "The adverse impact that blackouts would have on Long Island’s public safety, general welfare and economy would be catastrophic. Blackouts due to a shortage of electricity can not and will not be allowed to happen."

The FPL Energy Project, to be called Jamaica Bay, will use a Pratt & Whitney Swift-Pac, simple-cycle, low-emission, natural gas fired turbines to produce 79.9 MW of electricity. No alternative fuel will be used for this unit, which will be built in an Empire Development Zone in North Bellport, near Exit 66 of the Long Island Expressway. The in-service date for this project is July 2003.

Open house forums for the projects are in the process of being scheduled for both communities. Dates, times and locations will be announced shortly.

Additional information on LIPA’s summer electric demand or its Draft Energy Plan for Long Island can be accessed on its Web site at www.lipower.org.

LIPA serves approximately 1.1 million electric consumers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula. LIPA does not provide natural gas service.

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