YAPHANK, NY March 5, 2014 Â Citing the considerable regional benefits for Long Island, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) recently designated the proposedÂ Caithness Long Island II, LLC (Caithness II), power plant as a “Project of Regional Significance”.
Caithness II is a 750-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, natural-gas-fired power plant that was selected as the finalist in July 2013 by LIPA, after an extensive request-for-proposal process, as the best project to meet Long Island’s capacity and energy needs, while affording the greatest value to the utility’s customers and the environment.
Caithness II will be built on an industrially zoned parcel in Yaphank, adjacent to the 350-MW, combined-cycle Caithness Long Island Energy Center (CLIEC), which Caithness placed in operation in August 2009. The CLIEC produces nearly 20 percent of the power generated on Long Island and significantly curtails the use of older, more polluting and less efficient baseload power plants.
“We are pleased with the Long Island Regional Planning Council’s designation of Caithness II as a “Project of Regional Significance,” said Ross D. Ain, President of Caithness Long Island II, LLC. “The LIRPC’s determination is a validation of the considerable economic and environmental benefits Caithness II will bring to Long Island in enhancing the reliability of Long Island’s electric generation system and, more importantly, the cumulative and positive effect both Caithness plants will have on air quality and the global issue of climate change.”
The LIRPC, the region’s planning organization, was created by both Nassau and SuffolkCounties to represent the interests of Long Island residents by promoting the physical, economic and social health of the region. Its responsibilities include identifying “Projects of Regional Significance”, which have the potential to positively affect the quality of life for Long Islanders in the areas of economic development, housing, transportation, energy, environment, education, public health, emergency preparedness, and social and economic equity.
The LIRPC conducted a review of the Caithness II project and determined that it satisfies LIRPC guidelines in the following areas:
- Economic Development:Â LIRPC criterion requires a project to have capital costs in excess of $100 million; Caithness II is expected to have capital costs in excess of $1 billion, and is projected to generate $400 million in local economic activity. The project will create more than 500 construction jobs at its peak during the expected 28-30-month construction period. A payment in lieu of taxes agreement (PILOT) will provide a certainty of additional revenue for the Town of Brookhaven, the local school and fire districts, and other municipal taxing jurisdictions.
- Energy:Â LIRPC criterion requires a significant contribution to the region’s future energy and/or reduction of dependence of foreign oil; Caithness II will be predominately fueled by natural gas, thereby reducing the region’s dependence on foreign oil. Caithness’s advanced, highly efficient combined-cycle technology will consume significantly less fuel than older, existing baseload power plants on Long Island, annually saving ratepayers more than $80 million based on today’s cost of natural gas, and saving the natural gas equivalent of the annual usage of 195,000 households. Combined-cycle technology captures exhaust heat from the combustion turbine, converts it to steam produce additional power, thus maximizing the plant’s overall efficiency while minimizing fuel costs and consumption.
- Environment:Â LIRPC criterion requires the reduction of pollution on a multi-town basis; Caithness II, which will provide electricity for much of Long Island, will significantly reduce pollutant emissions, as compared to the older baseload plants currently in use on Long Island, many of which are nearly 60-years-old. The existing Caithness plant’s emissions average more than 95 percent less than those generated by older plants serving the region, and less than 50 percent of what is allowed under its air permit- among the strictest for any power plant operating in New YorkState. Caithness II is expected to achieve further reductions in air emissions. As with Caithness I, the second plant will use a closed, air-cooled system that will save billions of gallons of water from being extracted from Long Island’s aquifers.
Utilizing the most up-to-date generation technology, Caithness II will be the cleanest, most fuel efficient and most water conserving power plant on Long Island. Its high efficiency and ability to power up and down faster than other power plants, will enable Caithness II to rapidly respond to changes in customer demand and generation supply. This feature will establish Caithness II as a vital component in the future integration of renewable energy resources on Long Island, including solar and wind, and will supplement power supply during times when renewable supplies are not available.
More information about Caithness II can be found atÂ www.caithnesslongisland.com/caithness-long-island-ii
About Caithness Long Island II, LLC
Caithness Long Island II, LLC, is a subsidiary of Caithness Energy, LLC, a privately held, New York-based independent power producer. For over 25 years, Caithness has been a pioneer in the development of clean, reliable energy. More information can be found atÂ www.caithnesslongisland.com.