Friday, December 26, 2008

CEO & COO of the New York Power Authority

Richard M. Kessel took office as president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority, the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, on October 14, 2008. Mr. Kessel, an expert on New York energy issues, served as chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) from 1997 to 2006, and chairman of the LIPA Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1995. Mr. Kessel was responsible for several notable achievements during his tenure at LIPA.

Gil C. Quiniones is Chief Operating Officer of the New York Power Authority. Quiniones is a Subcommittee Co-Chair for Distributed Generation, on Governor Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force, Before coming to the Power Authority, Quiniones served for more than four years as Senior Vice President of Energy and Telecommunications for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). While there, Quiniones acted as the city’s chief consultant on energy policy issues. Prior to being COO, Mr. Quiniones was senior vice president of Energy and Telecommunications at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and chairman of the New York City Energy Policy Task Force.

The New York Power Authority

Click On Image To Enlarge

The New York Power Authority (NYPA)operates 18 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. NYPA sells power to government agencies; community-owned electric systems and rural electric cooperatives; companies; private utilities for resale—without profit—to their customers; and neighboring states, under federal requirements.

Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt established New York's model for public power through legislation signed in 1931. This effort to secure public control of New York's hydropower resources was the result of a bipartisan effort that began with Governor Charles Evans Hughes in 1907.

NYPA serves as a non-profit, public-benefit energy corporation that does not use any tax revenue or state credit. NYPA finances construction of our projects through bond sales to private investors, repaying bondholders with proceeds from our operations.

Monday, December 8, 2008

AAEA Energy Audits and Weatherization Circa 1988

AAEA was doing green jobs 20 years ago. From energy audits and weatherization to water efficiency retrofits (fixing leaks and changing out toilet parts) and influencing policy decision making, AAEA was in the forefront of what today appears to be a new thing. AAEA audited, weatherized and installed water improvements in hundreds of homes in the 1980's. AAEA Vice President Derry Bigby and AAEA President are pictured at right with another technician (middle) in the basement of a home reviewing the results of an energy audit in 1988. Note the beard, mustache and afro.

Today AAEA has expanded its scope to include a mix of energy sources. It takes a combination of energy sources to power America because our country is made great by having abundant supplies of energy at reasonable prices. AAEA believes in this ethic and supplements it with the belief that technology, combined with good policies, can keep the USA secure with reliable sources of energy. AAEA promotes clean coal technology, wind & solar, conservation and efficiency, natural gas and nuclear power. AAEA will continue to promote green jobs and sustainable development. We also work on toxics remediation, environmental justice and global warming mitigation projects. AAEA is also the only environmental organization in the United States that uses objective criteria in evaluating its support or opposition for development projects.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Should Blacks Own Coal Mines in a Global Warming World?

We asked once and we are asking again, should African Americans participate in the coal business? Or should blacks join with mainstream environmental groups to end the use of coal as a fuel to produce electricity? Let us know.

Regardless of your opinion, you should know that coal is currently used to produce 50% of America's electricity. If you want to shut down the coal industry you can contact the Sierra Club. If you're interested in getting into the coal business you can click here. Of course, the real question here is: will the established coal industry allow blacks in? Clearly the traditional environmental movement has big trouble in this area.

AAEA is promoting a realistic model for using coal in an environmentally friendly manner that also includes the production of hydrogen and transportation fuels. The AAEA Energy Defense Reservations Program (EDR) would be extremely expensive, but considering the money being doled out to bail out antiquated businesses, this program should be the future. The federal government should direct $300 billion to the EDR Program, which would complement the green jobs program being promoted by President-elect Obama. AAEA supports green jobs and the use of coal in an EDR Program to satisfy America's dynamic electricity needs.

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Cooling Tower Case

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Entergy Corp. v. EPA on December 2, 2008. AAEA President Norris McDonald attended the hearing. The case will determine whether or not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized to compare costs with benefits in determining the “best technology available” (BTA) for the cooling water intake structures of existing power plants. AAEA-NY believes cost/benefit analyses should be included in determining BTA.

This case will affect electric power plants that use a 'once-through' water-use process to cool heated water (steam) used to produce electricity. One interesting question in the proceeding: what is the cost of a fish egg?

Monday, November 17, 2008

President-Elect Obama Should Question Green Segregation

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: By Norris McDonald. Traditional environmental groups are giddy about the prospects of how an Obama administration can accelerate the goals of our movement. Yet these same groups are as segregated as they have ever been. Before they go asking the Obama administration for anything, President-Elect Obama should inquire about their historical discriminatory hiring and retention practices. Although the vast majority of groups arrogantly ignored our Diversity Survey, one peep from any Obama official will probably get a rapid response. A list of 30 groups recently provided their wish list of recommendations for the Obama transition team. Notice how AAEA is conveniently excluded from their little list. It is partly because we pose this pesky question about their discriminatory hiring practices. One of the largest groups even admitted to us that they had never hired a Black person in a policy position.

I have been around for 30 years and there are as few black professionals working for mainstream environmental groups now as there were in 1979. I was the only black professional working in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement then. At a very minimum the $6 billion per year green movement could create Vice President for Government Relations, or Vice President for Outreach or Vice Prisident for Human Resources the same way the industry groups and their associations do it. Mainstream green groups can continue to arrogantly run, but they can no longer hide (I hope). President Obama is going to find out. Now although America has stepped up to the plate, will the environmental movement finally integrate? Or maybe groups such as ours, Green For All, and the National Hispanic Environmental Council will still be necesary and have to carry all the load in getting expanded perspectives included in the environmental agenda. So mainstream green groups, don't go thinking President Obama is going to fall for some 'post-racial' gobbledygook.

President-Elect Obama will not be bamboozled by the enthusiasm of the green groups. America took a great step forward in electing Senator Obama, but the environmental movement is still stuck in the pre-first-Earth Day-segregated 1960s. I voted for President-Elect Obama and so did the members of these groups. Unfortunately, they seem to be secretly proud of their racial exclusivity. At least that is my opinion. I think President-Elect Obama and his transition team should at least take a look at our Diversity Report Card and see if you can help us to get the groups to answer us. We would appreciate it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

AAEA-NY Director Testifies At DEC Waste Siting Hearing

AAEA-NY Director Dan Durett participated in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) public hearing for the Draft New York State Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Plan (“The Siting Plan”) and the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS). Some of his comments are listed below:

First, there is a need for greater involvement from the African-American, and other impacted communities as the DEC moves forward on this issue, not only in public hearings or the solicitation of written comments, but also, and perhaps more importantly, during the various implementation processes that result from these activates.

Second, we are concerned with the major finding that “Before 2002, New York imported more hazardous waste for management than it exported. Since 2002, New York has exported more hazardous waste than it has imported.” We would question whether transferred waste is being sent to communities of concern to AAEA-NY?

Third, we ask DEC to review its observation that states: “Based on the history of hazardous waste management facility capacity and hazardous waste generation trends, it is reasonable to conclude that the private sector will continue to provide sufficient, needed capacity for New York State generated hazardous wastes. (See Chapter 6.)

Finally, we applaud the inclusion of the statement in the draft document that:"Preventing and reducing hazardous waste generation is a top priority for the Department and the State, as mandated by the preferred hazardous waste management hierarchy (ECL 27-0105.) This approach will continue to be used to guide all hazardous waste management policies and decisions of the Department, including permitting and other regulatory activities."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Entergy Disputes Fishy DEC Decision in Court

Entergy, the owner of Indian Point nuclear power plant, has taken the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to court to reverse the agency's ruling that the plant kills too many fish eggs with its current 'once through' Hudson river water cooling system. As such, the company disagrees with building a $2 billion cooling tower that DEC is attempting to force them to build to reduce fish eggs kills.

A regulatory adjudication is also pending to address these issues . One point of contention is that DEC already ruled that the facility causes an 'adverse environmental impact' via fish kills before the adjudication.

The DEC recently issued a permit to Entergy's FitzPatrick station, a nuclear plant on the southeastern Lake Ontario shore where no closed-cycle cooling has been required. AAEA participated in this proceeding. (

Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court hear a case in December examining whether the Clean Water Act can force a change to the best technology available without regard to costs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New York Regional Interconnection (NYRI)

The New York Regional Interconnection (NYRI) is a plan to build a 190-mile $2.1 billion 1,200-megawatt transmission line from the Utica area through seven upstate New York counties to Orange County to the New York City area. NYRI is a U.S. corporation owned by a series of Canadian holding companies . The high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) power line is needed to improve the state's aging power grid and reduce the threat of blackouts like the one that struck the state in 2003. The state Public Service Commission is holding a serious of 13 public hearings on the project. AAEA supports the project. If approved, the project is expected to be completed in 2018. [Note: we still do not understand why direct current will be used because AC is a more efficient way to move electricity].

The cables are made of steel with aluminum cladding and will be uninsulated. The pipeline route will have 83’- 120’ high scaffold-like towers and the river route 130’-180’ high monopoles. Each main cable would carry 400,000V and 1.2 billion watts. There will be at least 2 cables on each pole or tower, plus a return. On the monopoles, there would be room for 2 more cables.

Sources: Stop the Power Lines, PSC, various newspapers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Silda Wall Spitzer Working on "Green-Tech" Projects

It is being reported that Silda Spitzer, right, is working at a private [we guess there is still such a thing] investment firm where she will focus on funding "green-tech" projects and alternative energy. Well we have an exciting new green tech project for you Mrs. Spitzer. It involves LEDs and a Chinese partner. We would be happy to work with you on developing this state-of-the-art project. We also intend to create green jobs that will focus on assisting ex offenders and low-income people. Give us a call. Oh. And please do not be distracted by our name. Just as the National Wildlife Federation works on energy issues, so do we. (Daily News, 10/19/09)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mothers on the Move Mitigate Bronx Organic Fertilizer Site

The Mothers on the Move protests against the New York Organic Fertilizer (NYOFCo) site in Hunts Point in the Bronx (pictured at left in March) led the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to modify the permit requirements of the firm to reduce odors coming from the facility. The question now is: how will they do that? Trash transfer stations usually use perfumes sprayed into the air and negative pressure for enclosed facilities. For asthmatics and others with breathing problems, perfumes only add to the problem. You get a sweetened odor that still irritates airways. The only way sewage treatment plants were able to reduce smells from their sites was to ship the sludge out to area farms instead of letting it dry on site.

The amended permit requirements are due to a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on behalf of 10 plaintiffs and Mothers on the Move. NYOFCo processes about half of the city's sewage sludge into fertilizer pellets. The modified permit calls for the installation of an air pressure alarm to help keep odors from escaping the plant. It will be interesting to see how this situation will be resolved. The bottom line is that the facility probably does not need to be in Hunts Point, which is already inundated with a disproportionately large number of polluting entitites. (NY Daily News, 10/10/08--photo by Susan Watts/Daily News)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Electricity Cut Offs Rising Sharply

According to Con Edison, almost 10,000 residential customers, through September of this year, had their electricity turned off because they failed to pay their bills, 13 percent more than in the same period in 2007. The value of those unpaid bills is $8.9 million. During the same period, 1,600 nonresidential customers (shops, offices, factories and so on) had their power turned off, an 8 percent increase.

Con Ed sends up to five warning letters over a 90-day period before ultimately turning a customer’s electricity off. Most people who get their electricity turned off are back on within a month because they have entered a payment plan or made a payment.

Between January and the end of September, 342,073 residential customers were in arrears for more than 60 days, an 18 percent jump. (The New York Times, 10/9/08)

Monday, September 29, 2008

1st RGGI CO2 Auction Brings Clearing Price of $3.07

AAEA's price for allowances is $20.00 per ton at our Green Carbon Bank and Carbon Mercantile Exchange.

The states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced that all of the 12,565,387 allowances offered for sale on September 25, 2008 were sold at a clearing price of $ 3.07 per allowance. RGGI, Inc. reported that 59 participants from the energy, financial and environmental sectors took part in the first-in-the-nation auction, indicating a strong start in the first of many CO2 allowance auctions. The demand for the allowances appeared to have been very strong with a total of quantity of 51,761,000 allowances demanded which was four times available supply for this first auction. The $ 38,575,783 in proceeds produced from the auction will be distributed to Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, the six RGGI states that offered allowances for sale during the first auction. The states are investing those funds in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and programs to benefit energy consumers.

The RGGI auction was administered by World Energy Solutions, Inc (TSX: XWE), which operates online exchanges for energy and green commodities. World Energy Solutions concluded that the software executed the auction seamlessly, the process ran as expected and there were no issues that affected the ability of bidders to participate. The RGGI auction was overseen by RGGI, Inc.’s independent market monitor, Potomac Economics, a leader in the field of monitoring and competitive assessment of wholesale electricity markets in the U.S. Potomac Economics also serves as the Independent Market Monitor for the Midwest ISO and ERCOT, as the Independent Market Advisor for the New York ISO, and as the Independent Market Monitoring Unit for ISO New England. Any CO2 allowances purchased at the first auction can be used by a regulated facility for compliance in any of the RGGI states, even if that state did not offer allowances in the first auction.

The next allowance auction is set for December 17, 2008. These early auctions, combined with the others being held in the first compliance period, will ensure an ample opportunity for bidders to obtain the allowances they will need for compliance across the entire 10-state region. RGGI intends to hold quarterly auctions during the first RGGI three-year compliance period, which will be from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011.

Under the RGGI process, the then participating states will stabilize power sector CO2 emissions at the capped level through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent. The ten states participating in RGGI are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
For more information about RGGI, turn to:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Auction of CO2 Emission Allowances in United States

At a bell-ringing ceremony held today at the New York Mercantile Exchange in lower Manhattan, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) marked the opening of the first-in-the-nation auction for carbon dioxide emission allowances. The ceremony, which was attended by Governor David A. Paterson of New York and Governor Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey, Ian A. Bowles, Secretary for Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Laurie Burt, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Robert Calendar, Vice President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Phil Guidice, Commissioner of Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, Lisa Jackson, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Shari Wilson, Secretary, Maryland Department of Environmental Protection, served to mark the most serious effort yet in the United States to address climate change.

RGGI will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through a mandatory, market-based cap-and-trade program. Under RGGI, the ten participating states will stabilize power sector carbon emissions at their capped level, and then reduce the cap by 10 percent at a rate of 2.5 percent each year between 2015 and 2018. As promised in the 2005 RGGI Memorandum of Understanding, all participating states plan to have implementing regulations in place by January 1, 2009. Revenues from the carbon allowance auctions will be invested by the participating states in energy efficiency programs, renewable energy stimulus efforts and other programs to benefit consumers.

The RGGI auction held today offered 12,565,387 allowances, including CO2 allowances issued by Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. The CO2 allowances purchased at this auction can be used by a regulated facility for compliance in any of the RGGI states, even if that state did not offer allowances in this auction.

Other RGGI participating states will offer allowances for sale in future auctions as they complete their necessary rulemaking proceedings. A second auction is scheduled for December 2008, with all RGGI participating states expected to offer allowances for sale in the first 2009 auction. Future sales of CO2 allowances are planned through a steady offering of allowances in quarterly auctions. States have committed to offer for sale before the end of 2011 all of the allowances they are putting into the auctions for the first three-year compliance period. Regulated power companies must hold enough allowances to match their CO2 emissions for the first compliance period by March 1, 2012.

The RGGI states have retained a professional independent market monitor, Potomac Economics, to oversee auctions and subsequent market activity. The monitor will observe the conduct of the auction qualification process as well as the auction itself, and will report on whether the auction was conducted in accordance with the participating states’ regulations and the noticed auction procedures and whether the auction results represented a competitive outcome.

Friday, September 19, 2008

AAEA-NY To Seek Environmental Justice Fix at DEC

AAEA will be seeking a change in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting to enhance the policy. AAEA is being prevented from utilizing the provisions of the regulation because one sentence states:

"Any application for a permit received after the effective date of this policy will be subject to the provisions of this policy."
CP-29 was issued on March 19, 2003 and AAEA-NY is an intervenor on a permit that was initiated at an earlier date. Clearly, environmental justice issues pursuant to the state's policy should not be excluded because of the time of the submission of the permit. We understand that there should not be a burden on the permit applicant to retroactively analyze EJ issues, but stakeholders should not be precluded from utilizing the policy if they want to do so. Moreover, in cases where the permit applicant would want to include environmental justice as instituted by CP-29, the prospective permittee should be allowed to do so. The policy makes provision for such a change by stating:

"This policy may be subject to change at the discretion of DEC."
The DEC continues:

"... the DEC expects that the policy will be revised regularly to account for new information in the area of environmental justice and other issues encountered during the implementation of CP-29."
Moreover, in areas where there are potentially serious negative environmental consequences, provision should be made to include CP-29. The public, DEC and specific stakeholders have a vested interest in assuring that vulnerable populations receive every possible avenue to share their concerns. DEC also states in CP-29 that the policy is:

"To ensure meaningful and effective public participation, this policy requires applicants for permits covered by this policy to actively seek public participation throughout the permit review process. Applicants are encouraged to consider implementing the public participation plan components prior to application submission."
Our ultimate goal is the same as that stated by DEC in CP-29 under Procedure V, Section M, Decision and Findings Requirement:

"Consistent with existing regulations, any adverse environmental impact related to an action must be avoided or minimized to the greatest extent practicable."

We also need to revisit Part V, Procedure, A, Applicability, 2:

"This policy shall not apply to permit applications for minor modifications, except as provided above, nor to renewals, registrations or general permits."
CP-29 should apply to renewals that did not consider environmental justice in the original process if the permittee, DEC and a stakeholder all agree that it would not be overly burdensome to the permitee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Earn Your MPA in Environmental Science & Policy

Workshop courses in the 12-month Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University develop students' professional skills and combine the university's hands-on approach to teaching public policy and administration with pioneering thinking about the environment and sustainable development. The workshop is part of the core curriculum in this innovative program. Students learn how to develop professional presentations and reports on environmental and sustainable development legislation. In previous years, students have advised clients such as the Mayor's Office of New York City, the UN, and the EPA Region II during the spring semester 6-point Workshop. For more information about our Workshops, please visit the program's Workshop archive page. Representatives from our office will be traveling throughout the country this fall to share more information about the program with prospective students and review the application process and upcoming deadlines. For a full list of scheduled trips.

The Early Decision application deadline is November 1st. The Regular Decision application (with fellowship consideration) deadline is January 15th and the final application deadline is February 15th. Interested students are welcome to contact our office at Columbia University to speak with the program's coordinator, Audrey Lapiner, directly at 212-854-3142 or via email at. For more information about our program, please visit our website. Contact: Columbia Univ. School of Int'l & Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Memoriam: Robert J. Knox

Bob Knox was a friend and inspiration to AAEA as he was to many other institutions and people all over the country.

Robert J. Knox was a founding Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Justice(OEJ). Mr. Knox was an engineer by training and he began his career in Region 4 as a manpower development specialist working on water related issues. He moved to Region 2 where he led manpower and training programs.

In the early 1980s he served as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights. Thereafter, he was the Hazardous Waste Ombudsman for OSWER. When the Office of Environmental Justice was formed in 1992, he served as the founding Deputy Office Director with Dr. Clarice Gaylord, then OEJ Director. Bob spent his last 12 years in EPA working on community engagement activities. Bob retired from EPA in December 2004. In his retirement, he began taking coursework toward a masters degree from Howard University's School of Divinity. He was also a former deacon at the Gethsemane Baptist Church.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Riverkeeper Worked To Exclude African American Environmentalist Association

In the ongoing battle to provide cleaner air to New Yorkers, Riverkeeper has worked, and we assume will continue to work, to exclude AAEA from participating in a state hearing considering this life and death issue. The basic issue pits Hudson River fish eggs against asthmatic children and elderly in Harlem and the South Bronx. Riverkeeper chooses protection of some fish eggs over asthmatic children in Harlem. AAEA chooses asthmatic children and elderly over protection of some fish eggs.

Fortunately, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) ruled, over the objections of Riverkeeper, that AAEA could participate in a pending environmental permit hearing. It is simply unconscionable to us that Riverkeeper and others would attempt to exclude the environmental justice issue relevant to this extremely important air quality issue. The official state record clearly shows Riverkeeper's attempt to get AAEA excluded from the process:
"Riverkeeper argued that the issues identified by the AAEA failed to particularize the criteria in question in the draft permit. According to Riverkeeper, the AAEA's offers of proof with respect to the issues proposed did not identify permit conditions and indicate why those conditions were not in conformance with applicable law and permitting standards. Riverkeeper argued further that the AAEA's arguments with respect to outages at the Stations were merely general concerns about impacts on an unspecified population, and Riverkeeper went on to assert that the impacts were not specified. Finally, Riverkeeper contended that environmental justice concerns fall more within the purview of SEQRA, and should be addressed in that process, rather than in the context of non-compliance with a SPDES permit requirement."
AAEA responded:
"In response, the AAEA argued that the Department's Environmental Justice policy specifically states that it is applicable to the permitting process, noting that allowing AAEA to participate would further the Department's goal of ensuring that the concerns of low income and minority communities are considered in permitting decisions. The AAEA maintained that even one outage day could result in health impacts...Shutdowns of 42 days could increase emissions from such plants by over 1.2 million tons during ozone season, including an increase in oxides of nitrogen. Moreover, the AAEA indicated that it is prepared to offer testimony to establish that the Department in fact failed to take environmental justice considerations into account in the process of arriving at the terms of the draft permit.
Fortunately, the DEC ruled:
"This issue is substantive because, based on the AAEA's offer of proof, and upon this record, capacity may be limited by such installation. The issue is significant because, after hearing, the proposed draft permit may be modified to address air emission concerns... The NYSDEC Commissioner's Interim Decision upholding the Administrative Law Judge's February 3, 2006 Decision, which granted "standing" to AAEA for the adjudicatory hearing process in this atter. Accordingly, AAEA shall have full party status in this proceeding. In addressing this issue in the adjudicatory proceeding, generalized and nonspecific arguments will not be sufficient. AAEA should present evidence regarding air quality impacts on specific environmental justice communities, and should address the extent to which such impacts on those communities are disproportionate."
We thank the state for allowing us to provide evidence that urban children and elderly, the most highly impacted, will be negatively impacted if there is a negative ruling on the environmental justice issues that AAEA is defending at the upcoming hearing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NRC Renews License of FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating license of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant for an additional 20 years. The FitzPatrick plant, located 8 miles northeast of Oswego, N.Y., began commercial operations in 1975, and its operating license was set to expire in 2014. The licensee, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., submitted its license renewal application Aug. 1, 2006. With the renewal, signed Sept. 8, the license is extended until Oct. 17, 2034.

On March 20, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards - an independent body of technical experts which advises the Commission - issued its recommendation that the operating license for FitzPatrick be renewed. That recommendation is contained in “Report on the Safety Aspects of the License Renewal Application for the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.”

The FitzPatrick renewal brings the total number of operating license renewals to 49 reactor units. Renewal application.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Spanish Company MIGHT Develop Wind Power in New York

The Public Service Commission voted unanimously to allow Iberdrola S.A., a Spanish energy conglomerate, to acquire Energy East, a Maine-based utility with operations in five states.
Iberdrola has said it will invest at least $2 billion in wind turbines across upstate New York if the commission allowed it to acquire Energy East, subsidiaries of which supply electricity or natural gas to 1.7 million customers in the state. The commission’s decision was the final hurdle for the $4.6 billion deal, which had been approved by federal and other state regulators.

Opponents of the deal, including the Independent Power Producers of New York, a trade group of utilities, said they remained worried that Iberdrola would gain too much market power under the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Iberdrola would be bound to invest $200 million in wind power. The company has promised to spend 10 times that amount, with plans for numerous wind parks spread throughout upstate New York. The plan would add about 133 megawatts of wind capacity to the state, if and when the wind turbines could be site approved and built, probably in at least ten years. This would provide enough power for 133,000 homes. The commission’s proposal also included a requirement that Iberdrola insulate its New York operations from any financial risks the company assumes in other states or abroad. Iberdrola would also have to divest Energy East’s fossil fuel generating plants, though it could retain the company’s hydroelectric power operations. (The New York Times, 9/4/08)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Energy Service Companies Offer Alternative Electricity

Alternative energy service companies (ESCOs) are offering to supply gas and electricity cheaper than large, established utility companies like Con Edison, which still delivers the power even if people sign with ESCOs. Part of the ESCO multilevel marketing business model is like Amway, people sell friends the natural gas or electricity service who then sell friends the service, with each seller getting a piece of the recruit’s spending in return. The approach is a byproduct of utility deregulation that began in the 1990's with broken-up utility monopolies now facing competition from companies such as Direct Energy Services, IDT Energy and Ambit. ESCOs are eager to capitalize on fears over high fuel prices and use mass mailings, Web sites and door-to-door salespeople to recruit customers from Con Ed by promising they will save 7 percent on their supply cost for the first two months, and avoid taxes on the delivery of that supply. Direct Energy estimates that customers in a typical New York City apartment can shave about $6.50 off their monthly electric bill. Companies offer perks, too. Energy Plus gives customers bonus miles on various airlines for every dollar they spend on electricity.

The network-marketing model is preferred by some companies, betting that people are more likely to buy electricity from someone they know than from a stranger at their door and that sales agents who earn residuals from those they enlist will be more motivated than those who work for a salary or straight commission. With some ESCOs, consultants pay $399 (plus $25 a month for a personalized Web site) and the initial $399 sign-up fee is recouped by signing up 30 new customers within 12 weeks. Each month, consultants get 5 cents to $5 for each customer, depending on when they signed up and their energy usage. There are bonuses for signing people up as consultants, and, as with so many network-marketers, free trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

But ESCOs operating in New York have caught the attention of state regulators and consumer advocates, who say some sales representatives have inflated potential savings, misrepresented contracts and been overly aggressive with vulnerable constituencies like the elderly and nonnative English speakers. Some agents have been accused of exploiting the complex way gas and electricity is priced and the difficulty of deciphering which companies offer the best deals.
Con Edison estimates rates on each month’s bill and later reconciles them based on actual prices that fluctuate daily. ESCOs generally offer fixed-rate one- and two-year contracts, ignoring the volatile market; they also post average rates on Web sites like one from the State Public Service Commission,, potentially confusing people about their actual costs.

Since January 2007, the state’s Public Service Commission has received nearly 3,000 complaints about the 50-plus ESCOs operating in New York, In July, U.S. Energy Savings agreed to pay $200,000 in costs and penalties after customers complained to the state attorney general’s office about $600 termination fees they had to pay to cancel long-term contracts. Nationally, some ESCO customers have found themselves double-paying for power, when the some companies went out of business before the term of a prepaid contract was up, forcing them back to the big utilities. The Consumer Protection Board and New York City Department of Consumer Affairs have urged the Public Service Commission to make mandatory the voluntary guidelines that were developed by the ESCOs and the commission in 2006. (Thirty-one ESCOs in New York had signed on by March.)

Many customers should be very careful in considering the ESCO service because it can be a complex affair to calculate whether savings are really accomplished. Most people have a hard enough time just understanding their regular bill. According to Con Edison, savings are generally insignificant for residential customers, who use relatively little power.

Consultants earn money by getting people to sign up with a genuine gas and electricity provider, and by commissions on fuel and power purchases by customers, as well as by signing up new consultants. The service provides customers with a chance to save a few dollars on their electric bill. In one example one person recruited 10 people, who recruited enough people to build him a network of 1,030 customers. The person claimed to earn about $1,500 a month. Shell Energy Trading, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, sells energy to ESCOs. (The New York Times, 8/31/2008)

Monday, August 25, 2008

AAEA New York Helps With Power Plant License Renewal

AAEA presented a statement at a public hearing before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on July 15, 2008 in Scriba, New York that was helpful in getting approval in July of the license renewal for the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit and Water Quality Certification (WQC). The meeting was an opportunity for members of the public to state their views on the station’s renewed SPDES permit and WQC. FitzPatrick expects its 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) soon, extending the station’s current 40-year license to 2034. AAEA is proud to have played a small part in the license renewals for this facility that will help in reducing global warming.

Concurrently, the New York Department of State Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) issued its consistency determination for the renewed NRC license. The WQC and CZMA determination reflect New York State’s acknowledgement of the important role of the FitzPatrick plant to the New York power supply and the absence of adverse aquatic impacts associated with its operations. AAEA President Norris McDonald is pictured above at the plant.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bronx Community College Sustainable Energy Courses

How to Sell Solar Systems in New York and New Jersey:

Making the financial case to your customers (3 hrs.) For Solar Professionals ONLY This seminar will cover the basics of understanding the typical costs and incentives of solar PV projects; everything from evaluating the size of the system needed and calculating the potential energy savings to determining financial options and rebates. The class will also build a financial model spread sheet.

Bronx Community College October 24, 2008 Instructor: Rob Ashmore is the President and Owner of AeonSolar, a New York and New Jersey based solar sales and installation company and has worked in several markets over the past 7 years. He is NABCEP certified and has been project manager on hundreds of solar projects.

Photovoltaic Installation and Math/Electricity Basics

The Center for Sustainable Energy is pleased to offer the following course as part of the CUNY Photovoltaic (PV) Training Program, funded by NYSERDA. Completion of the course will allow the student to recognize and identify all components of the stand alone and net metered, grid inter-tied PV system and understand the interlink between design criteria and the economic impact of various options. Hands on skills will be taught and representative installations will be visited, discussed, and analyzed. NABCEP test preparation will be provided. Each PV class is preceded by a 2 session Math/Electricity Basics class for students who need to brush up on electricity concepts.

Bronx Community College September 7- November 15
FULL. Email Jill Cotter to be placed on a waiting list for the next available courseInstructor: Scott Sousa is project manager for Sun Power Systems with 25 years experience. He is a NY licensed master electrician and NABCEP Solar PV Certified and has installed over 100 solar electric systems on Long Island; residential, commercial and municipal. New York City Tech September 2- October 11FULL. Email Jill Cotter to be placed on a waiting list for the next available course

Instructor: Ron Stephan, Design Engineer with Solar Energy Systems, Inc., graduated from the FHTW Berlin, University of Applied Science with a degree in Environmental Engineering/Regenerative Energies and previously worked for Conergy AG in Germany on product management of mounting systems for PV systems. Instructor: Hugo Pedernera, Project Manager with Mercury Solar, has been active in all facets of PV projects for over 14 years. Hugo has worked for Solar Energy Systems , Odyne and altPower, designing and installing commercial and residential turnkey projects.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indian Point Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE)

The Indian Point Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE) Panel is a body of 12 experts in nuclear safety, security, emergency preparedness and public policy. At the request of Entergy Corporation, the owner of the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), the Panel conducted a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the Indian Point nuclear power station in Buchanan, New York. The Panel operated openly and transparently, as required in its Charter. They evaluated Indian Point performance in comparison with their own experience and expectations for high-performing nuclear plants both in the United States and internationally.The Panel concluded that the IPEC is a safe plant and that Entergy is attentive to nuclear safety.

Operations are conducted competently and professionally, meeting the high standards of the U.S. nuclear industry. Plant safety systems are well maintained and reliable. IPEC’s performance compares favorably to high performing plants in most aspects of nuclear safety.

However, the Panel found that IPEC’s relationship with the public and stakeholders, particularly on matters of emergency preparedness, is not healthy. Overall, the Panel found that security at the plant is strong. The Panel operated with complete independence and had full access to the plant and its employees. Its written report, prepared independently from Entergy, is being made available to the public without editing by any party. (ISE Report)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Green Taxis Required By October 1st

New York is the only city in the United States that has mandated the use of hybrid gas-electric vehicles for its taxi fleet. The old taxis that get less than 25 miles per gallon must be replaced by Oct 1, 2008. The following models have been approved: Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Camry, Toyota Pius, Toyota Highlander, Mercury Mariner, Ford Escape, Saturn Vue Green Line, Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Altima. It is estimated that 500,000 tons of greenouse gas emissions will be cut each year by this change over. There are approximately 13,000 taxis in New York City. Normally, about 3,000 are replaced each year. (USA Today, 7/18/08)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System Now Available

The RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (RGGI COATS) is now available and can also be accessed through the track system. Parties that wish to participate in the first RGGI CO2 Allowance Auction on September 25, 2008 must open a general account in RGGI COATS.

The auction process for the first RGGI CO2 Allowance Auction begins with the release of the Auction Notice and application materials at 8:00 AM EDT on Thursday, July 24, 2008. To learn more about how to participate in the first auction, you can log onto a conference call webinar on Thursday, July 24, 2008 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM EDT. Important details about how to participate in the auction will be covered. No questions will be taken during the webinar; however, an online question window opens the same day. The slide presentation for the webinar is available online: [Enter participant code 555661 and name, company, email address, and title]. To hear the audio presentation, participants must dial in to the following teleconference number: 1.888.875.4624 and participant code 555661#.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

AAEA-NY Defends FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

Statement Before Administrative Law Judge Helene Goldberger:

In connection with the Entergy Nuclear Fitzpatrick LLC (Fitzpatrick) Application for a New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Water Quality Certification (“WQC”), the African American Environmentalist Association-New York (“AAEA-NY”) submitted comments in support of granting a WQC based on environmental justice considerations.

The draft denial of the WQC may lead to the closure of the facility if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denies a license renewal based on the denial of a WQC. Any substantial reduction in the amount of electricity generated by Fitzpatrick will spark demand for replacement electricity from power plants in other parts of the state. Unfortunately, these plants are, for the most part, pollution-emitting fossil-fuel plants.

In New York City these plants are largely located in low-income and minority communities. As production at these fossil-fuel plants increases, the air quality in and around these plants will further deteriorate, causing a spike in the incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in these vulnerable communities. The denial of the WQC, to the extent that it leads to fossil fuel replacement of Fitzpatrick, effectively places the interests of Lake Ontario fish eggs and larva over the health of New York’s low-income and minority communities.

Photo: Norris McDonald at FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Scriba, New York.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pedicab: Asian Rickshaw Technology Environmentally Friendly

Pedicabs are a combination of entertainment, transportation, environmental statement and fill a unique cultural niche. There are about 500 pedicabs in NYC charging from $15 to $40 for a 10-30 minute ride. In Central Park, pedicabs now compete with horse-drawn carriages for romantic rides.

Manhattan Rickshaw Company (212) 604-4729 offers tours led by licensed guides. Southern Loop of Central Park ($75; 30-45 minutes), Greenwich Village ($75; 60-75 minutes) and Lower East Side/Chinatown/Little Italy ($140; up to two hours). Prices are per vehicle, which fit up to three passengers. The company will also design a tour designed to meet your interests.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Costco In Harlem?

We like the idea. You can buy everything at Costco. Well not everything but many things. And at very reasonable prices. The joing fee is not bad either.

It appears that Harlem might get a Costco because HomeDepot is having technical difficulties and is looking for another big box store to replace them. The store would be located at the East River Plaza shopping center, currently being constructed at costs that have mushroomed to $440 million. The Costco site would take up 110,000 square feet of the first floor of the shopping center.

The 485,000 square foot shopping center will have an attached 1,248 space parking facility and is along the FDR Drive between E. 166th and E. 199th streets. The project is expected to create 1,400 full-time jobs. (Daily News 6/23/08)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hunts Point Produce Market Move Could Help Clean Air

Although the Hunts Point produce market is the most profitable such facility in the world with about $2 billion in annual revenues, the bounty does not seem to benefit the surrounding area and air pollution is significantly increased due to all of the truck traffic. The privately owned wholesale fruit and vegetable cooperative is threatening to move because the city will not put up $150 million to help build a new $750 facility. The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center also houses the New Fulton Fish Market and includes other meats. Our take on the move threat: don't let the door hit you on the way out.

The Bronx is already inundated with all kinds of pollution generating sites. Losing this massive source of truck traffic will ease the air pollution burden on this section of New York. There are already power plants nearby, sewage treatment, bus depots, trash transfer stations and highway thoroughfares undermining the health of residents. Let the lease expire in 2011. Turn it into a park or green jobs center. Put that $150 million into manufacturing green products. Maybe there should be multiple facilities anyway instead of one central wholesale outlet in the area. (New York Post 6/11/08)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Legislature Fails To Renew Article X Again

Article X is a streamlined process for licensing electricity generating power plants in New York. The law expired at the end of 2001 and has not been renewed so there is no reasonable process for siting new large power plants. State Senator George Maziarz (R-Newfane), who heads the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, says legislation will be considered during the 2009 session. The Senate 2008 legislative session ends June 23. The state Assembly is scheduled to adjourn later that week.

Under Article X, it took approximately five years from the submittal of the license application to the opening of a new power plant. Power plants can still be sited in the state today, but the permitting process is much slower because of having to complete separate reviews before various municipal governments and agencies. That process is impractical and prohibitive to utility companies. Plants under 80 megawatts can still be constructed without Article X reauthorization. (BizJournals, The Business Review, 6/3/08)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New York Urban League 43rd Annual Frederick Douglass Award Dinner

The New York Urban League honored three people at its 43rd Annual Frederick Douglass Award Dinner: 1) Marva Allen, Owner, Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe, 2) Raymond J. McGuire, Co-Head, Global Investment Banking, Institutional Clients Group, Citi, and 3) Franklin A. Thomas, Consultant, TFF Study Group (formerly President of the Ford Foundation). Masters of Ceremony for the event were Michelle Miller, New York Based Correspondent, CBS News and Peter Thorne, Weekend Anchor/Reporter, CW11 News at Ten.

Champions of Diversity Awards went to: Bank of America, Darden Restaurants, FedEx Express and Yoyota Motor North America.

AAEA President Norris McDonald attended the event and noted that he was delighted to meet Melvin Van Peebles and greet Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The dinner was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the views down onto Columbus Circle and Central Park were stunning.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Compact Fluorescent Light Replacements for Public Housing

Approximately 19,000 incandescent light bulbs are being replaced with complex fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs in the 343 public housing complexes in the city. The New York Public Housing Authority currently spends about $7.4 million a year for electricity at Castle Hill Houses and Queensbridge South and North complexes. It is projected that the CFLs will reduce electricity costa by 17%. (Daily News, 4/29/08)

Broadwater Appeals State Rejection To Fed Commerce Dept

Broadwater Energy (Shell Oil & TransCanada) are bypassing the state and appealing to the U.S. Department of Commerce to get approval for their proposed floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in the middle of Long Island Sound.

Governor Patterson rejected the LNG proposal in April on environmental and safety grounds and the project was also opposed by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell. The $700 million project would probably be very helpful in providing natural gas to TransCanada's recently purchased Ravenswood power plant.

Replacing Charles Poletti With A New Electricity Powerplant

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has authorized the selection of Astoria Energy LLC to provide electricity to NYPA's government customers in the city. Astoria Energy plans to build a new natural gas-fueled generating plant in Queens to supply power under a proposed 20-year contract with NYPA. The plant will help make up for the Power Authority's scheduled retirement in January 2010 of the Charles Poletti Power Project, also in Astoria. Astoria Energy expects the new plant, which is fully licensed, to be in service by the summer of 2011.

We were wondering how a new powerplant could be approved without an Article X powerplant licensing law (review process) in place, but evidently this plant had been previously approved before the expiration of Article X of the New York State Public Service Law . In 2001, the New York State Siting Board approved the construction of 1,000 mw of generating capacity at a 23-acre site in Astoria. Astoria Energy completed the first phase of the project in May 2006 when it placed in service a 500-mw combined-cycle facility for providing power to Con Edison. The pending supply contract with the Power Authority provides for Astoria Energy's implementation of the next phase with the construction of the second 500-mw facility.

NYPA trustees authorized the new supply contract, pending completion of final negotiations with Astoria Energy and the approval of the agreement by the New York City governmental customers, for the supply of 500 megawatts (mw) of generating capacity. The customers include the City of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City Housing Authority and the New York State Office of General Services. The new supply contract will provide reliable generating capacity for New York City schools and hospitals, the subways and commuter trains, public housing and other essential services in the city.

The new state-of-the-art, natural gas fueled power plant planned by Astoria Energy
will use a combined-cycle technology in which hot exhaust gas normally lost in the combustion process is captured by heatrecovery steam generators to produce additional electricity. The new facility will consume 30 percent less fuel per unit of electricity than a conventional power plant. Combined-cycle technology enables NYPA's 500-mw power plant to generate 50 percent more electricity from its fuel than it would with a conventional single-cycle power system. Under this dual-phase system, two combustion turbine-generators operate in conjunction with two heat-recovery steam generators and a steam turbine-generator. In the first cycle, fuel is burned and the resulting combustion gases power two turbine-generators to produce electricity. Hot exhaust normally lost during this process is captured and routed through the two heat-recovery steam generators. These units boil water to create steam, which spins an additional turbine-generator and produces more electricity. Finally, the steam is discharged into a condenser, which returns the steam to its liquid state for recycling.

In addition to that proposal, NYPA previously selected a joint proposal by Hudson Transmission and FPL Energy, in November 2006 that would involve construction of a new 345- kilovolt transmission line under the Hudson River to deliver up to 500 mw of supply capacity from an existing power plant in Central New Jersey. The additional power supplies from both RFPs are needed for the New York City governmental customers' long-term needs.

NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. It is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. (The Queens Gazette) (NYPA Combined Cycle)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Entergy 1st Utility To Purchase Carbon Emissions Credits

According to the Pew Center for Global Climate Change, in December 2003, Entergy became the first U.S. utility to purchase carbon emissions credits from geological sequestration projects. Entergy also sequesters CO2 by planting thousands of trees on its landholdings and among other credits, leased 30,000 tons of CO2 offset credits from the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association. (Electric Light & Power)

See also: The Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act of 2007

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New York City Drinking Water Supply System

The New York City water supply system utilizes three separate systems of reservoirs, which obtain water from some 2,000 square miles of watershed in upstate New York. The three systems include the Croton System, the Catskill System and the Delaware System. The three elements of the New York City delivery system represent separate systems without direct inter-connections. Two tunnels City Tunnel No. 1 and No. 2 carry water from the Croton System to New York City. The Richmond Tunnel carries water from City Tunnel No. 2 to Staten Island. A new tunnel, City Tunnel No. 3, has been under construction since 1970. Most of the work in Manhattan and the Bronx has been completed. Tunneling is underway in Brooklyn and Queens.

Today, 50% of the city’s water comes from the Delaware system, 40% from the Catskill system, and the remaining 10% comes from the Croton system. The city now has 19 reservoirs; the farthest is 120 miles from central Manhattan. This long travel time, which is powered by gravity, results in most of the microbes dying naturally. The water is treated with:
chlorine to kill organisms,
fluoride to prevent
tooth decay,
sodium hydroxide to raise pH levels, and
orthophosphate, a substance that coats pipes, to prevent lead from leaching into the drinking water.
The Croton System is the oldest controlling flow from 12 reservoirs and five lakes which covers about 370 square miles of the Croton River Drainage Basin. The average yield of the system is 300 million gallons per day (MGD). The Catskill System consists of two reservoirs, the Ashokan and the Schoharie. The Ashokan Reservoir impounds water from 247 square miles of the drainage and the Schoharie Reservoir impounds water from the 314 square mile drainage basin. The Ashokan and Schoharie Reservoirs drain into the Catskill Aqueduct with a capacity of 550 MGD. The Delaware System consists of three reservoirs located in the Delaware River Basin, the Canonsville, Pepacton and Neversink Reservoirs, and the Rondout Reservoir on Rondout Creek in the Hudson River Basin. The safe yield of the entire Delaware water system is 610 MGD. (New York City Water Supply)

$3 Billion Bronx Water Filtration Plant Targeted For 2012

New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection is building a water filtration plant in the Bronx capable of purifying 300 million gallons of water a day. It will be one of the largest in the world when completed in 2012. The 10-story-deep hole for the plant was blasted out of bedrock (Fordham gneiss), which forms the pit's walls, and will filter water from the Croton watershed in Westchester County. The original cost estimate for the project in 1998 was $660 million but the cost is now estimated to be $3 billion.

The pipe that will bring in untreated water from the Croton reservoir system is 12 feet in diameter. The two outflow pipes have 9-foot diameters. The water will be purified in a “stacked dissolved air flotation system,” which uses several layers of filters to remove impurities.

The city was forced to build the plant because water from the Croton watershed did not meet federal standards for safety and purity. Although the Croton system can supply nearly 30 percent of the city’s 1.1 billion gallons a day of drinking water, generally it supplies just 10 percent, mostly in the Bronx and northern Manhattan. The rest of the city’s water comes from the Catskill Mountains and the Delaware System and is so clean that the city last year won a 10-year exemption from federal regulations requiring that all surface drinking water be filtered. (The New York Times)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Omar Freilla: Green Jobs Guru of the South Bronx

Omar Freilla, left, was promoting green jobs before it was cool. His Green Worker Cooperative (GWC) on Timpson Place between Bruckner and Southern Boulevards and East 149th Streets is demonstrating how recycling can help save the environment and create valuable jobs. If Mr. Freilla has his way he will turn the Hunts Point dumping ground into a mecca for urban recycling.

His Green Worker Cooperative recently received $900,000 in financing from the state, other cooperatives and church groups to run the operation for a few years. GWC is accumulating toilets, doors, decorative gravel, ceiling fans and every other item it can to process at its 18,000-square-foot warehouse. New items are sold at a 25 percent discount, while used goods would be sold for half price.

AAEA has particulated in conferences organized by Mr. Freilla. His dedication is second to none and we are sure that he will be very successful in establishing recycling as a renewable energy jobs alternative in the South Bronx. AAEA stands prepared to cooperate with Mr. Freilla in any way we can. Keep up the great work Omar. (The New York Times)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Jones Beach Wind Farm Electricity Proposal

Florida Power and Light tried and failed last year to get permission from Long Island Power and Light (LIPA) to construct a wind farm off the coast of Jones Beach. Now Winergy intends to convince LIPA that it can build 86 turbines 15 miles in the Atlantic Ocean that will provide about 300 megawatts of electricity, enough power for 300,000 homes. Winergy actually amended its proposal to include 260 turbines that would provide 940 megawatts, which would provide enough electricity for almost a million homes. The turbines would be about 15 miles offshore. Cape Wind is seeking permission to build a similar project in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. AAEA supports both projects. (testimony)

In addition to the Jones Beach proposal, Winergy has a proposal for a 600 megawatt farm adjacent to the Long Island proposal that would include 167 turbines and connect to a ConEd substation in Manhattan. (

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mirant Decides to Close Lovett Electric Power Plant

Mirant Corp. has decided to completely close and demolish the Lovett electricity generation plant at Tomkins Cove in Stony Point, New York. In 2009 the tax a reassessment for empty land where the Lovett plants now stands could drop significantly from the $11 million now paid to the North Rockland school district and the $3 million that goes to the town and county. A significant number of jobs will be lost too. Lovett Generating Station did not want to pay approximately $150 million to upgrade pollution controls. (Lovett Generating Plant)

Governor David Paterson Rejects Broadwater LNG Project

Governor Patterson rejected the Broadwater LNG project on April 10th, proposed to float in the middle of the Long Island Sound, during a statement at Sunken Meadow State Park with the Sound in the background. The New York Department of State officially deemed the terminal "inconsistent" with state coastal zone management policies, primarily on environmental and visual grounds and interference with public use to the Sound. AAEA New York supports the Broadwater project because it is environmentally friendly, does not represent visual pollution, is desperately needed for reliable electricity delivery in New York and is not an environmental injustice issue. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously voted in Washington, D.C. in March. Broadwater would be the nation's first floating liquefied natural gas processing plant.

Monday, April 7, 2008

New York City Rooftop Water Tanks & Pneumatic Systems

Many New Yorkers do not think about how they get water in high-rise buildings for drinking, bathing, and mechanical uses, such as cooling towers and supplying HVAC equipment. Rooftop water tank systems, left, started being used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They combined with constant-speed pumps that operated by a level switch in the tank and when the level in the tank would approach a pre-determined height, the pumps would either turn on to pump more water to the
tank or turn off because the tank was full. In winter the tanks have internal heaters to prevent freezing. In the 1950s, pneumatic pressure tank systems, left, started replacing many roof tank systems.

Building owners now use state-of-the-art variable-speed control in choosing water pressure systems or booster systems. This significantly cut energy bills from the old 50's constant speed systems that had little to no controls. Variable-speed water pressure systems use a transducer to sense pressure and automatically adjust the speed of the pump in order to maintain a constant discharge pressure regardless of demand or flow.

As city water mains age, their ability to deliver water pressure to buildings is reduced, which is why most multi-story buildings need a booster pump system to pressurize water on upper floors. Typically, a pressure of 40 psi at the top of a building is ideal. Multistage centrifugal and turbine pumps, right, are generally used for high head applications. The pumps’ multistage design affords high efficiency on low-, medium- and high-flow systems. The diagram at left is of a pneumatic tank pump system. (Source: PMEngineer, Paul Larson P.E.)

Friday, April 4, 2008

New York City Subway Uses 500 MW of Electrical Power

The New York City Rapid Transit Commission (RTC) officially broke ground for the city’s subway system on 24 March 1900. Beginning in 1892, Thomas Edison-style direct current (DC) generators powered trolleys and elevated trains (Els) in Brooklyn. But by the mid-1890s, the Tesla-Westinghouse alternating current (AC) system proved much more practical for powering homes, industry and transportation, as AC could be transmitted efficiently over long distances — a critical advantage to the subway project. In November 1898, Westinghouse received a contract for what would be the subway’s main power station and eight substations. The company had installed large-scale AC dynamos at Niagara Falls, and the RTC needed Westinghouse’s electrical expertise.

Today, the NYC Subway is the city’s largest user of electricity. AC operates signals, station and tunnel lighting, ventilation and miscellaneous line equipment, while DC operates trains and such auxiliary equipment as water pumps and emergency lighting. The system’s 215 electric substations receive high- and low-voltage power from the New York Power Authority, at voltages as high as 27kV AC, prior to transforming it for use within the system. The subway's third rail requires 625 volts DC for operating the trains. Power is distributed throughout the system via 2,500 miles of cable, which passes beneath 7,651 manholes located throughout the city. The power required to operate the subway system during peak hours is about 500 MW. And at 1.8 billion kilowatt hours, the subway’s annual power consumption equals that of the city of Buffalo, New York. (IEEE)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

TransCanada To Purchase Ravenswood Power Plant

TransCanada Corp agreed to buy the 2,490 megawwatt Ravenswood power station, right, for $2.9 billion from National Grid PLC of Britain, which needed to divest itself of the property to comply with New York state regulation. National Grid had acquired the Ravenswood power station as part of its $7.3 billion takeover of KeySpan, a New York utility, in August 2007. Divestiture of Ravenswood was a condition of the New York Public Service Commission. The Ravenswood plant accounts for more than 20% of New York City's supply of electricity.

TransCanada owns or has interests in the producers of approximately 7,700 megawatts of power generation. The company also owns generators in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to its Web site. TransCanada, along with Shell US Gas and Power LLC, is also planning to build the Broadwater Energy liquefied natural gas terminal off Long Island Sound, which could bring the gas from Broadwater to Ravenswood and convert it to electrical power and sell it to the people of New York. TransCanada is based in Calgary, Alberta and is one of North America's largest natural gas grid operators and one of the largest gas storage providers with approximately 355 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. (The Wall Street Journal 4/2/2008)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

TransGas Energy Electricity Power Plant Proposal Killed

On March 27, the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment refused to issue TransGas Energy Systems (TGE) a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, a document necessary for TGE to proceed with construction of a gas-fired power plant. The Siting Board concluded the proposed facility is:

* Incompatible with public health and safety because the back-up oil storage tank is needed; * Inconsistent with New York City’s land use regulations because of 2 million gallons of oil storage capacity;
* Inconsistent with the State’s interest in recreational resources, in light of New York City’s plan to construct a 28-acre park surrounding Bushwick Inlet;
* Unable to minimize adverse environmental impacts considering the interest of the state with respect to aesthetics;
* Not in compliance with the applicable local coastal zone management policy; and The benefits to the electric system of Con Ed, its customers and the general public do not outweigh the adverse environmental impacts that would result from the construction of the facility.

TransGas Energy Systems LLC (TGE) proposed to construct and operate the TransGas Energy Facility (the Project), a 1,100-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power generation facility on the East River between the Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s North Side sections of Brooklyn. The proposed Project wouldhave been fueled primarily by natural gas. The Project was designed to provide baseload electricity to one or more New York City load pockets and also includes the heat recovery and delivery infrastructure for potential steam sales to the steam system of the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison).

The Project was to have consisted of four 501F Siemens Westinghouse combustion turbines, Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs), two steam turbines, water treatment infrastructure, an electrical switchyard, and a steam cycle cooling system. When natural gas supplies are curtailed during cold, winter weather, the Project proposes to use the lowest available sulfur content backup oil (at most 0.05%). The Project site is zoned for heavy industrial use (M3), the only zoning district category in New York City that permits electric generating. The site is heavily contaminated, and will be remediated as part of Project construction. (Complete TGE Project Description)

The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning (GWAPP) opposed the project. They believe the area should be a continuous waterfront promenade that would culminate at the Bushwick Inlet, bringing Greenpoint and Williamsburge Waterfronts together and linking them to upland neighborhoods, including McCarren Park. They cite the Brooklyn Community Board 1's 197-a plans for the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Waterfronts and he Williamsburg and Greenpoint 197-a plans as calling for the promenade. The GWAPP believes this waterfront park would also serve as a piece of the coming Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, linking Brooklyn neighborhoods along the waterfront from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge. They believe the powerplant threatens the city's planned 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park. They complain that the 325-foot smokestacks would spew 1,075 tons per year of toxic emissions. Some local groups also claim that this plant is not needed to meet NYC's energy needs. (See: StopthePowerPlant)

AAEA did not take a position on the plant proposal.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Final Indian Point Nuclear Leak Report Submitted to NRC

GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA) submitted the Hydrogeologic
Site Investigation Report
[Executive Summary]for the Indian Point Energy Center to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on January 7, 2008. The report provides a summary of the investigative methods, findings/conclusions and recommendations for work conducted from September 2005 through the end of September 2007. The report presents the results of a two-year comprehensive hydrogeologic site investigation of the Indian Point Energy Center (Site) conducted by GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA).

The study was initiated in response to a release of Tritium to the subsurface, initially discovered in August of 2005 during Unit 2 construction activities associated with the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Project. These investigations were subsequently expanded to include areas of the Site where credible potential sources of leakage might exist, and encompassed all three reactor units. Ultimately, these investigations traced the contamination back to two separate structures, the Unit 2 and Unit 1 Spent Fuel Pools (SFPs). The two commingled plumes, resulting from these SFPs releases, have been fully characterized and their extent, activity and impact determined. The two primary radionuclide contaminants of interest were found to be Tritium and Strontium.

The report concludes:
"At no time have analyses of existing Site conditions yielded any indication of potential adverse environmental or health risk. In fact, radiological assessments have consistently shown that the releases to the environment are a small percentage of regulatory limits."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

RGGI RFP Released For Market Monitoring Services

On March 26, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. ( RGGI, Inc.) released a request for proposals for market monitoring services. The RFP outlines a request for monitoring services for RGGI CO2 allowance auctions and the secondary RGGI allowance market.RGGI, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed to provide technical advisory services to the RGGI participating states in the development and implementation of the CO2 Budget Trading Program under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The RFP.

All communications regarding this RFP should be addressed to Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), which is facilitating communication related to the RFP on behalf of RGGI, Inc.

Contact information and submittal instructions are specified in the RFP.

Key dates for the RFP include:

1) A due date for proposal submissions of April 30, 2008, by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

2) Submission of Notice of Intent (NOI) to Propose forms are due by 5:00 pm EST on April 4.

The NOI forms are to allow for participation in a proposers conference call. Submission of a Notice of Intent to Propose form and attendance of the conference call are optional.