Bye Bye New York City “Peakers” – Hello New York City Blackouts

Earlier this year, under the direction of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state issued new draft regulations aimed at shutting down most of the state’s “peaker plants”–small electric generating plants that produce electricity for brief periods during high demand (see Cuomo Banning 3,500 MW of Electric Generation w/No Replacement). The plants are powered by nasty, filthy fossil fuels and that, according to Lord Cuomo, must end. Most of NY’s peaker plants are located in New York City and Long Island.
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Construction Finally Begins on Columbiana Utica-Fired Power Plant

Advanced Power Services finally breaks ground…TODAY…on building an 1,100 megawatt Utica-fired electric plant in Columbiana County, OH (see New $1.1B Utica-Powered Electric Plant Coming to Columbiana County). The plant, big enough to power 1 million homes (!), was approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board in September 2016 (see $1.1B Utica-Powered Electric Plant in Columbiana Gets State Approval).
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Lawsuit: Jessup Board Colluded to Punish Gas Plant Property Seller

A landowner in Jessup Borough (Lackawanna County, PA, near Scranton) has filed a lawsuit against the Borough Council as a whole (and the individuals who serve on it), claiming they rezoned the landowner’s property, cutting them out of millions of dollars, as retribution because the landowner had the audacity to sell property to the Marcellus gas-fired Lackawanna Energy Center (LEC) power plant.
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2 NY Dem Lawmakers Push Bill to Ban New Fossil Fuel Facilities

Two Democrat New York State legislators, Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, are floating parallel bills that would outright ban any new natural gas-fired electric plants or natural gas pipelines in the state. Really bizarre stuff. They’re calling this lunacy “Freedom from Fossil Fuels.” Want to run a new gas pipeline from the local utility to a new housing development or commercial business park? Forget it. No new gas customer hookups *anywhere* in the state–not just in Westchester County (see Moratorium on New Gas Hookups in Westchester County Begins Today). Such would be result of this truly insane plan.
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Legislation Requiring PA Get 100% Electric from Renewables DOA

A radical Pennsylvania environmental group called PennEnvironment is pushing a media narrative that a “collection of 88 Republican and Democratic Pennsylvania state legislators” have joined together to introduce and endorse a truly insane plan that would require all (as in 100%) of electricity generated in the Keystone State to come from so-called renewables by 2050–just 30 years from now. It will NEVER happen, but that’s beside the point. Our point is that one named Republican is part of this “bipartisan collection” of 88 leftists. The lone Republican is PA State Sen. Tom Killion from the Philadelphia area.
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Neighbors of Almost Completed NY Gas-Fired Plant Want New Study

Cricket Valley Energy Center (concept drawing)

In October 2012, after a rigorous review by New York’s Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) during the State Environmental Quality Review, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dutchess County was accepted and approved. Construction of the 1,100 megawatt plant (to fed by PA Marcellus gas) began in July 2017 (see Second NY NatGas-Fired Elec Plant Breaks Ground in Hudson Valley) and is due to be completed early next year. As it gets close to completion, anti-fossil fuel neighbors from across the street are asking the DEC to perform a new study of the facility before allowing it to start operation. They’re making outrageous claims that gas-fired plants may cause autism.
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NatGas Replacing Coal for Power Gen in Ohio; Renewables Tiny 3%

Here’s an interesting and fun fact: In just 12 years electricity generated by coal plants has gone from powering 87% of Ohio’s homes and businesses to just 47%. So-called renewables (solar and wind) make up a whopping 3% of Ohio’s electric generation. So what’s replacing coal? Natural gas, which now generates 34% of the state’s electricity. Gas still hasn’t beaten coal, but give it a few more years and it will.
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Is Shale Industry Hypocritical Opposing Nuke Bailouts in PA, OH?

One of the few “green” advocates we respect is Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and president of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. His articles often appear on the Forbes website (we’ve linked to many of them in our “Best of the Rest” roundup). Shellenberger, one of the few environmentalists to endorse and defend fracking, recently penned an article that accuses the fracking/shale industry of a double standard when it comes to their opposition to bailing out nuclear plants with government subsidies.
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SWPA Gas-fired Elec Plant Next to Pot Farm Gets Ready to Build

In October 2017, MDN told you a second Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant is planned for Greene County, PA (see 2nd Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant Proposed for Greene County, PA). Hill Top Energy Center, based in Huntington Bay, N.Y., is planning to build a 620 megawatt plant on 41 acres of land off Thomas Road in Cumberland Township. We have indications that the project is finally getting ready to begin construction.
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Future of Invenergy’s Rhode Island Gas-Fired Power Plant “Uncertain”

Last September MDN told you that a new natgas-fired electric plant planned for the People’s Republic of Rhode Island in Burrillville was on life support, with antis reaching to pull the plug (see Proposed Rhode Island Gas-Fired Plant on Life Support). In March we told you the project isn’t dead quite yet (see Proposed Rhode Island Gas-Fired Plant Still has a Pulse). The pendulum has swung the other way once again, with the patient’s heart going into arrhythmia (i.e. irregular heartbeat).
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Indiana Shoots Itself in Head, Denies OK for Gas-Fired Elec Plant

In June 2018 MDN told you about a plan by Midwest utility company Vectren to build a 900-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant (and a 50-acre solar farm) to replace a retiring coal plant, in Warrick County, Indiana (see Indiana Utility Files Request to Build New Gas-Fired Electric Plant). Building the gas plant and solar farm would cost Vectren (meaning ratepayers) $940 million. The cost is passed on to ratepayers because Vectren is regulated, which set up a fierce battle to get it approved. We suspect Marcellus/Utica gas will feed the plant, which is why we’re interested. Unfortunately, yesterday the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rejected the proposal. Meaning it’s dead.
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Ithaca Suburb Still Irrationally Hates Converting Coal to NatGas

Maybe it’s time to let Ithaca just go dark. Turn the electricity off, or rather, let the plants producing electricity that helps power the college town die off, and let rolling blackouts commence across the region. The battle continues to rage in the lib Dem socialist utopia of Ithaca (Tompkins County), NY over a plan to convert a local coal-fired electric generating plant to use much better-for-the-environment and far-less-polluting natural gas. Yet local antis, who irrationally (and we mean clinically insane) hate fossil fuels, continue to object. Fine. Turn off the lights.
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PA, OH Bills Would Prop Up Failing/Expensive Nuclear Power Plants

New York State is already doing it, Pennsylvania is actively considering doing it, and now, Ohio has caught the contagion too. The “it” we’re talking about is soaking electric rate payers to pump more money into the coffers of big corporations so they can keep uneconomic and financially failing nuclear electric generating plants operating. Both PA and OH lawmakers have floated plans to soak rate payers in their respective states.
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WV’s First Gas-Powered Elec Plant Begins Construction This Summer

Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC), based in Buffalo, NY, will begin construction on West Virginia’s very first Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant sometime “this summer.” The exact date has not yet been set, but should be announced soon. However, in a bit of a surprise (for us), the state’s first natgas-fired plant to get built will not be (as we thought) in Brooke County. Instead, it will be in Harrison County.
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MIT Claims New Filter Helps NatGas Burn Cleaner

MIT researchers have developed a new polymer membrane that can dramatically improve the efficiency of natural gas purification, while reducing its environmental impact. (Image: Chelsea Turner, MIT)

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claim to have discovered a new way to filter natural gas before it’s burned to remove the presence of “contaminants” like carbon dioxide within the gas, so that the methane will burn cleaner. If true, perhaps gas-fired electric plants will become zero-carbon emitting sources of cheap electricity. We can hear the screams of fossil fuel haters everywhere.
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