Poletti Power Plant De-Construction
NY Power Authority Works To Safely Remove Materials
March 11, 2013 / Astoria / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. By Michael Wood. I attended a United Community Civic Association meeting on Thursday evening about the de-construction of the Poletti Power Plant, which is situated on the NY Power Authority site in the northwest section of Astoria. The meeting was held at the Augustana Lutheran Church on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria Heights.
The bottom line is that current plans call for the de-construction of the old Poletti Power plan to be completed by December 31, 2014. Current planning is underway to figure out how to approach the removal of the old plant materials. Some of the issues include routing of them via trucks through Astoria or via barge on the East River.
We were told that the plant is not being demolished, but rather de-constructed in a manner similar to reverse construction. The New York Power Authority, a government agency, is managing the project.
Click here for the rest of our report, including photos of the NY Power Authority & Poletti Power Plant de-construction.
Poletti Power Plant De-Construction
NY Power Authority Works To Safely Remove Materials
March 11, 2013 / Astoria / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. Continued. The Poletti Power Plant and the power complexes along the East River of New York are all a part of the Southeast New York Region of the NY Power Authority. For those of us who live in Queens, we think of the power sites along the East River as being west and north, but the NY Power Authority is a state run agency and, as you know, Queens is located in the southeast corner of the state.
New York - NY Power Authority
Edward Birdie, Director of the SENY Community Affairs Public, Government & Regulatory Affairs, was joined by Andrea Luongo, Project Manager of the Poletti Plant site de-construction. Andrea spent a little time orienting us to the landscape of ‘The Site’ which is a large energy complex in northwest Astoria and Queens, that represents the significant portion of the Queens County power complex which is home to 60% of NYC’s power supply.
The site is owned by Con Edison and includes four tenants: 1) the NY Power Authority who was speaking tonight, 2) NRG, 3) Astoria Energy and 4) US Powergen. The latter three tenants are all power generation companies, while Con Ed is both a power generation company and a power transmission company.
Andrea gave us some background on the New York Power Authority. The NYPA is the largest state run power company in the U.S. with 16 power generation sites and 1400 miles of transmission lines. They provide 20% of NY State’s power and 70% of it is generated by renewable means [hydropower]. They are a leader in renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and electric transportation. And the NYPA has funded over $1 billion in clean power initiatives, resulting in savings of 1.6 million barrels of oil per annum and 262,000 tons of green house gasses.
History of the Poletti Power Plant in Astoria Queens
In 1974 the NY Power Authority purchased the #6 oil fired unit from Con Edison while it was still under construction. There were plans to use the energy to fuel things like NY Public Housing and NY Public Transit.
The power plant began power generation in 1977. In 1980 the power plant was outfitted to enable it to generate electricity using natural gas, thus making it a dual-fuel plant. In 1982 the power plant was named after former NYS Governor and NYPA Trustee, Charles Poletti.
New Power Plants in Queens & Deconstruction of Poletti Power Plant
In 1998 it was decided to replace the power plant with a new, state-of-the-art, 500 megawatt combined cycle power plant. And in 2002 the NY Power Authority signed a Stipulation Agreement, with more than six government and local civic groups like the United Community Civic Association regarding the de-construction of the Poletti Power Plant and the construction of the new plant. The Poletti Power Plant ceased operations on January 31, 2010.
The Poletti Power Plant de-commissioning encompasses three separate projects: 1) the de-mineralized water plant, 2) the fuel oil yard and 3) the Unit #6 power plant. These projects were to take place over a five-year period from 2010 – 2014. The first two projects have been completed and planning for the third is underway and scheduled for completion by December 31, 2014.
Poletti Power Plant Timeline - United Community Civic Association
The Poletti Power Plant de-construction timeline was as follows. In the first year - 2010 - permanent lock out / tag out of the Poletti Power Plant to prepare for safe deconstruction. In the second year - 2011 - sell and salvage market value equipment and design deconstruction plan. In the third year – 2012 – relocate / construct utilities and select a deconstruction contractor. And in the fourth and fifth years – 2013 & 2014 – deconstruct the plant and remove the materials.
Currently there are a number of activities in progress. These include securing insurance certificates and bonding of those involved in the project. And the creation of a comprehensive logistics plan and site specific health and safety plan [HASP]. They are also working to find the best access / egress routes through which the deconstructed materials will move. And they are marking off the staging areas within which the work will take place to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
NY Power Authority - Sustainable & Regenerative
Andrea noted that the deconstruction project has a price tag of $30 million, but that by salvaging equipment and materials from the old Poletti Power Plant and selling them at market; the NY Power Authority was able to recoup $9 million of the deconstruction costs.
United Community Civic Association - Community Concerns & Questions
The United Community and Civic Association group’s questions were quite good. Someone asked about how much asbestos was on the site. Andrea noted that the Poletti Power Plant had been well managed and that asbestos mitigation had been done throughout its 40 year life, so that the primary asbestos deposits were limited to the boiler, gaskets and roof, with some in an adjacent building.
Someone asked about the transport of asbestos through the Astoria & Queens neighborhoods and its ultimate destination. Andrea and Edward told us that the access / egress routes had not been decided upon. They were investigating both the use of East River barges and trucking as options. Rose Marie Poveromo interjected that the community strongly prefers the East River as the access / egress route.
Andrea and Edward noted that in 2010 and 2011 they had quietly removed the de-mineralized water plant materials through the neighborhood without a complaint. They also said the contractor would be required to move the materials in compliance with state and federal regulations to ensure safety.
Someone asked when they will have decided upon an access / egress route. They thought that that decision would be completed by early to mid May 2013. They also noted that the NY Power Authority is subject to conducting itself in a regulatory-compliant way that exceeds what is required of private industry. They not only monitor suppliers work on the site, but also monitor their activities upon departure and make sure that the materials end up at their appointed destination.
Someone asked about the size and future of the site. We were told that at this time there aren’t any plans for it, and that they would get back to us on the size of the vacated site.
At the end of the question and answer session there was pretty enthusiastic applause. I took it as a sign that the folks in the room seemed generally pleased with how things were being managed and communicated.
Thanks - United Community Civic Association & New York Power Authority
We want to thank the Rose Marie Poveromo and the United Community Civic Association for hosting this presentation, as well as Edward Birdie and Andrea Luongo and the New York Power Authority for providing an informative session.
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