Upstate New York Power Producers Submit Cayuga Repowering Proposal

Project Offers Clean and Reliable Energy - Provides Long Term Environmental and Economic Benefits
Upstate New York Power Producers, Inc.’s (USNYPP) subsidiary, Cayuga Operating Company LLC (Cayuga), today submitted a comprehensive proposal to New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) in response to a recent order (Order) from the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC). Cayuga’s proposal details four options for repowering the Cayuga Power Plant, while promoting renewable energy, creating jobs, increasing efficiency, reducing emissions, generating tax revenues, and assuring system reliability. The Cayuga Power Plant Repowering Project is consistent with New York’s Energy Highway Blueprint as it provides an alternative to transmission system upgrades, accelerates construction and modernization of the Cayuga plant, all the while supporting cleaner, more-efficient and cost-effective energy.
The PSC issued the Order following the results of a study that indicated that the electricity generated by the Cayuga Power Plant is required to serve the needs of NYSEG’s customers. The Order required NYSEG to investigate various proposals that will address long-term electric reliability. The Cayuga Power Plant Repowering Project includes a range of options to repurpose the Cayuga Power Plant from repowering the current boilers using clean natural gas to installing state-of-the-art combined cycle natural gas electric generating units.
“By Cayuga leveraging its prior infrastructure investment, a number of competitive options are available to meet New York State’s electricity needs,” said Jerry Goodenough, Chief Operating Officer of USNYPP. According to Mr. Goodenough, the repowering project could create over 500 construction jobs while creating high tech permanent jobs in the area. “This repowering project will add millions of dollars to the local economy while continuing to provide support for local governments and the Lansing Central School District.”
The PSC’s Order, which meets the goals set forth in New York’s Energy Highway Blueprint, requires an evaluation of the local region’s reliability needs: comparing transmission upgrades to repowering the facility. “In solving the system reliability issues facing NYSEG and the region, the Cayuga Repowering Project offers inherent benefits that are superior to transmission upgrades,” said Mr. Goodenough.
“The Cayuga Repowering Project positively impacts our community in two significant ways. It will improve our region’s power system reliability which, in turn, is critical to the success of our manufacturers and high tech companies. Every second their equipment is down because of reliability issues means millions of dollars in lost revenues. In addition, the power plant itself is a local employer that provides quality employment opportunities for local residents and contributes to the local tax base. The project not only helps retain the existing workforce, but would also create hundreds of jobs during construction,” said Michael Stamm, President of the Tompkins County Area Development.
“The Cayuga Power Plant’s long term sustainability is very important to the Lansing School District in many significant ways. The plant generates substantial tax revenue that currently represents 7% of the District’s total revenue stream.  Recent reductions in the plant’s value, coupled with no increases in State aid and decreasing Federal aid revenues, have put an increased burden on the local taxpayer. Along with their significant impact on taxes, the connection between this local energy producer and the region’s current economic and future economic stability, is a critical consideration in the sustainability of the school district’s educational program,” said Chris Pettograsso, Lansing School District Superintendent.
“The Cayuga power plant has been a very valuable asset to Tompkins County for many years, providing stable economic benefits for the local area. The opportunity offered by the Public Service Commission through the repowering order could shift the question from whether, to how, the plant will operate in the future.   Providing future latitude is an important step forward and provides new hope that the facility will continue to provide good paying jobs, a stable tax base, and significant local revenue,” said Joe Mareane, Tompkins County Administrator.
“We believe that repowering this plant is consistent with the New York Energy Highway Task Force plan and that the Cayuga Power Plant should not be retired as it could cause reliability issues. We have been very supportive of the evaluation process, which demonstrates that repowering will be a benefit to New York jobs, provide stability to the power grid, provide affordable electricity for ratepayers, and provide economic and tax benefits for the surrounding area. To that end, we strongly support the Cayuga Operating Company’s proposal to repower this plant. On behalf of the men and women of local 83 we urge the adoption of any option that will maintain the Cayuga plant and improve regional and system reliability,” said Leo Yanez, President of Local 83, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
USNYPP proposed four options for repowering the Cayuga Plant. The range of proposals provide solutions that meet both regional peak demand needs during summer months as well as the State’s overall goals of higher-efficiency energy production.
Each option is described below:
Option 1: Repower the two existing coal-fired boilers with natural gas.
This option would involve adding natural gas burning equipment on the two existing coal boilers along with all the necessary controls and natural gas piping systems. The efficiency of the repowered boilers would improve while still being able to make the full 300 MW that the station currently provides. In addition, emissions of SO2 would be eliminated and CO2 and NOX would be significantly reduced.
Option 2: Construct three new gas-fired turbine generators that are peaking units.
This option would involve installing 3 new gas turbine generators that would be suited for providing electricity very quickly in times of peak demand. Each unit would be capable of 100MW, so the station would still be able to make the full 300 MW that it currently provides. In addition, emissions of SO2 would be eliminated and CO2 and NOX would be drastically reduced.
Option 3: Construct a new highly-efficient gas fired combined cycle turbine generating unit that uses the existing steam turbine generator in addition to repowering one of the existing coal-fired units with natural gas.
This option would involve installing a new gas turbine generator and combining it with a new heat recovery steam generator that would supply steam to the existing Unit 2 steam turbine. This option provides an innovative way to supply electricity in a highly-efficient manner while still utilizing existing equipment. The output of this “combined cycle gas turbine” (CCGT) would be around 250 MW. Along with repowering one of the existing boilers with natural gas as described in Option 1, the total output of the station would be over 400MW. Emissions of SO2 would be eliminated and CO2 and NOX would be significantly reduced.
Option 4: Construct two new highly-efficient natural gas fired combined cycle turbine generating units.
This option would involve installing two new gas turbine generators and combining them with new HRSG’s that would supply over 325 MW of electricity in a highly-efficient manner. Emissions of SO2 would be eliminated and CO2 and NOX would be drastically reduced with the installation of these state-of-the-art CCGTs.
In addition, in order to further the goal of encouraging the development of renewable energy set forth in the New York Energy Highway Blueprint, Cayuga proposes to construct a 2 MW array of solar photovoltaic panels to supplement the gas-fired capacity available from the re-configured plant site.