2011-06-24 / Top Stories

FR Power Plant Slated To Close

By Nicholas Briano

The Far Rockaway power plant is slated for closure. The Far Rockaway power plant is slated for closure. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced last week that it plans to phase out the Far Rockaway power station, pending approval from the agency’s Board of Trustees, in an effort to save ratepayers more than $75 million through 2015.

LIPA plans to discontinue use of the Far Rockaway and Glenwood power plants, which account for less than two percent of LIPA’s current power demand. The Far Rockaway Power Station is located along Jamaica Bay near the intersection of Bayswater Avenue and Dickens Street. The station has one unit, No. 4, which is fueled by natural gas. The unit is capable of producing 100 megawatts of electricity. Unit No. 4 was built in 1953 to use both coal and fuel oil and converted to oil/natural gas in 1966. The original station had steam-engine generators, and went into operation in 1899.

According to LIPA these circa 1950s plants are running less and less each year, currently representing less than 2 percent of LIPA’s total energy requirements. Consistent with power purchase agreements in the industry, LIPA pays for the full capacity of the plants whether they operate or not. LIPA pays for the plants to be available when needed to meet statewide and local system reliability requirements.

“Consistent with LIPA’s 2010 Electric Resource Plan, we are continuing to transition our power generation supply to newer and more efficient generation, modernizing the electric system and lowering costs to our customers,” said Paul DeCotis, vice president of Power Markets for LIPA. “This is a business decision that will save customers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 20 years.”

The decommissioning and demolition of the sites by National Grid are expected to take 12 to 24 months to complete and will include an environmental assessment. Pending approval of the decision, the plants are slated to go into retirement beginning in June 2012.

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