Long Island II

Proposed Plant Applauds Renewable/Fossil Study

DATED: September 7, 2016

SOURCE: Innovateli.com

Future fossil: The natural gas-fired Caithness II power plant proposed for Yaphank may be Long Island’s best renewable-energy hope.

As renewable programs struggle to set a new national energy tone, the Long Island-based subsidiary of a major independent power producer is lauding a new international study calling for greater collaborations between renewable sources and fast-reacting fossil-fueled generation.

The idea, according to a white paper recently released by the Massachusetts-based National Bureau of Economic Research, is that intermittent and non-dispatchable renewable energy resources like solar and wind aren’t reliable enough to meet growing energy demands by themselves, based on current technologies and energy from good, old-fashioned fossil-fuel sources is needed to plug the power gap during natural drop-offs in solar and wind production.

Renewable and fast-reacting fossil technologies appear as highly complementary, the white paper notes, adding such tech should be jointly installed to meet the goals of cutting emissions and ensuring a stable supply.

Ross D. Ain, Executive Vice President

The study Bridging the Gap: Do Fast Reacting Fossil Technologies Facilitate Renewable Energy Diffusion? A study was conducted by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in Italy, in collaboration with the French Economic Observatory (bring your dictionnaire to the website) and Syracuse University. It considered wind, solar and other renewable-energy plants in 26 countries over 13 years before concluding there are important synergies between renewable generators and natural-gas plants.

That sounds about right to Caithness Long Island II, a subsidiary of New York City-based Caithness Energy and the entity behind Caithness II, a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant proposed for Yaphank. The Caithness II project would supplement Caithness Long Island, a 350-megawatt gas-fired generator that in 2009 became the first major baseload power plant to open on Long Island in three decades, and currently provides roughly 10 percent of the Island’s electricity.

Caithness II is also designed specifically to ramp up and down quickly, as dictated by customer demand and fluctuating energy supplies. According to Caithness Energy, the proposed plant can go from producing zero megawatts to 620 MW in just 45 minutes and requires only 32 minutes to go from full load to shutdown.

That’s generations better than slowpoke steam plants in Port Jefferson and Northport, disqualifying those old-school generators as on-demand suppliers. And it’s exactly the kind of rapid-response, fossil-fuel stopgap championed in the NBER white paper, notes Caithness II President Ross Ain, who believes the proposed plant is perfectly suited to support the integration of substantial renewable-generated electricity into the Long Island grid.

What the study concluded is that renewable energy won’t work without adding modern, fast-reacting, natural gas plants to provide power when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, Ain said in a statement.

Caithness II remains in a holding pattern while regional lawmakers, utilities and investors continue to review market conditions and gauge future Long Island energy needs but there’s no doubt, Ain added, that this is what the NBER’s researchers had in mind when they penned Bridging the Gap.

Natural gas continues to be an essential bridge fuel that represents the best support in attaining aggressive greenhouse-gas reduction goals, the Caithness II President said. “And gas-fired, combined-cycle plants such as the Caithness II project do so in an economical and environmentally beneficial manner.”

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Caithness II Designated a “Project of Regional Significance” by the L.I. Regional Planning Council

YAPHANK, NY March 5, 2014  Citing the considerable regional benefits for Long Island, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) recently designated the proposed 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: 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: 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: 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 at 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 at www.caithnesslongisland.com.

Public Hearing to Accept Comments on the DEIS to be Held at the Brookhaven Town Auditorium on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5pm

On December 17, 2013, the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven adopted a resolution accepting the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the proposed Caithness Long Island II, LLC project and authorizing its release for public review and comment. A public hearing to accept comments on the DEIS will be held at the Brookhaven Town Auditorium on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Written comments on the DEIS also may be submitted to the Town Clerk until close of business on February 14, 2014.

Click here for a copy of the DEIS.

The Town will also consider the application of Caithness Long Island II, LLC for a Special Permit for Electric Generating Facility and related waivers.

LIPA Selects Caithness for New Combined-Cycle, Natural Gas-Fired Power Generating Station in Yaphank, NY

New plant will be among the nation’s cleanest, most efficient and most environmentally advanced; will complement benefits of existing Caithness plant in reducing emissions and meeting the demand for new, cost-effective power 

NEW YORK  August 26, 2013  Caithness Long Island II, LLC (Caithness), a subsidiary of Caithness Energy, L.L.C., is pleased to confirm that its proposal to build and operate a new 750-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant has been selected by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) as the best project to meet the Authority’s capacity and energy needs, while providing the greatest value to LIPA’s customers and the environment. Caithness II is to be built on an industrially-zoned parcel in Yaphank, in the Town of Brookhaven, where the company presently operates the 350-MW Caithness Long Island Energy Center.

As an experienced developer and operator with diverse experience in renewable energy such as geothermal, wind and solar, as well as environmentally-friendly fossil-fueled projects, Caithness Energy has established itself as a national leader in helping address global climate change. Its clean energy projects include the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in the world, several utility-scale solar projects, and the Caithness Long Island Energy Center, NY’s cleanest and most energy efficient natural gas-fired power plant.

“We at Caithness are happy that LIPA has placed its trust in us to permit, construct, commission and operate what will be Long Island’s newest, cleanest, most efficient and most environmentally-advanced power generating plant,” said Ross D. Ain, President of Caithness Long Island II, LLC. “The new facility will build upon the enormous benefits already being enjoyed by Long Islanders as a result of our first facility, which was commissioned in August 2009 and now produces nearly 20% of the power generated on Long Island. And since the existing plant’s emissions have averaged less than 5% of the emissions from the older plants serving Long Island’s needs and less than half of those allowed by its air permit  one of the strictest for any power plant operation in New York together, both plants will present significant improvements in Long Island’s air quality and have a positive impact on the critical issue of climate change.”

Representing a new paradigm in clean, efficient power plants, the Caithness II project was selected as part of LIPA’s 2010 Generation and Transmission Request for Proposals. The determination was made after an extensive and highly competitive analysis of 45 projects offered by 16 entities responding to the RFP. The evaluation considered the attributes of all proposals including operational flexibility, environmental impacts, interaction with other power supply resources, and the ability to get the project developed on time.

In addition to cost advantages to LIPA’s ratepayers, Caithness was chosen because it gives LIPA flexibility to allow for the retirement and/or repowering of older, inefficient plants while helping the Authority meet its needs for new capacity. Caithness II will also help improve the region’s air quality since it will produce substantially less emissions than the older plants LIPA currently relies upon, many of which are decades old. LIPA also cited Caithness’s record as a proven and reliable developer, the strong community support the company garnered for its first Long Island plant, and its record as a good corporate citizen in the communities in which it operates.

LIPA’s staff worked with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) during the planning and RFP process. NYPA concurred and supports LIPA’s decision in selecting the Caithness II project as being the best choice in meeting LIPA’s needs to improve system efficiency, reduce air pollutant emissions and prepare Long Island’s electric system for expanded use of renewable energy resources.

Caithness II will employ combined-cycle technology, a highly efficient means of generating electricity since it captures exhaust heat from the combustion turbine, which would ordinarily be dispersed into the air. Instead, heat is converted to steam to power a steam turbine generator and produce additional power, thus maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing fuel costs. As the most energy efficient plant on Long Island, Caithness II will further help reduce overall fuel consumption and produce fewer air emissions while providing additional supplies of much needed cost-effective electricity.

As with the existing plant, Caithness II will employ a closed-cycle, air-cooled condenser in its steam cycle, resulting in 95% less water consumption than other plants on Long Island, saving millions of gallons of water from being depleted from Long Island’s aquifers each year.

In addition to its substantial environmental benefits, Caithness II will provide considerable advantages to the local economy. During the expected 27-month construction period, it is anticipated that the project will produce over 500 construction jobs at its peak, yielding over 1.5 million man-hours of construction labor resulting in nearly $200 million in payroll and benefits. Locally, that translates into $400 million in direct expenditures for taxes, local goods and services, or over $800 million with multiplier effects.

The first Caithness project received widespread support among locally-elected officials, civic and business leaders, trade unions, environmental groups and several editorial pages. In 2011, Caithness received the first-ever “Clean Energy” award from Vision Long Island, the region’s smart growth planning organization. The Caithness property is an ideal location since it is in close proximity to existing transmission lines and a gas distribution pipeline. It is not within any environmentally-sensitive area, and the nearest residences are approximately one half-mile away.

“We appreciate the Town of Brookhaven’s consideration of the siting of an additional power resource within an industrially-zoned parcel and look forward to working with the local community in reviewing our plans going forward,” Mr. Ain concluded.

About Caithness Long Island II, LLC
Caithness Long Island II, LLC is a subsidiary of Caithness Energy, L.L.C., 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 at: www.caithnesslongisland.com.

Long Island Air Quality Shows Marked Improvement

New natural-gas-fired, combined-cycle power plants credited with helping clean the air we breathe

YAPHANK, NY  June 5, 2013  A recent report issued by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) provides dramatic confirmation of the environmental benefits that new “clean” power plants, similar to Caithness Long Island Energy Center (Caithness), bring to Long Island and the region. NYISO, a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk-electricity grid, has reported sharp reductions in emissions from newer power-generating facilities in New York in recent years. Caithness began commercial operations in Yaphank in August 2009.

The report states, “In New York State, the rate of power plant emissions of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has declined since 2000. The SO2 rates have seen the most dramatic decline by dropping more than 86 percent. NOx rates dropped more than 76 percent and CO2 rates dropped by 36 percent.”

Caithness provides nearly 20% of the electricity produced on Long Island and its emissions are less than half of that allowed by its air-emissions permit one of the strictest for any power plant operating in New York State. Caithness’s NOx levels are 50% below its permit requirement; its volatile organic compound (VOC) levels are 74% below its permit requirement; and its carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are 91% below its permit requirement.

Since becoming operational, Caithness has helped reduce the reliance on older power generators, many of which were built in the 1950s.

Separately, in December, the United States Environmental Protection Agency determined that the region has attained the PM-2.5 24-hour-particulate-matter standard under the Clean Air Act. This determination is based upon certified quality-controlled ambient-air monitoring data showing an improving trend in PM-2.5 concentrations that overlaps with the period in which Caithness became operational.

These significant improvements in Long Island’s air quality and the associated public-health benefits have resulted in large part from the construction of new natural-gas-fired power-generating facilities in the region, and the effect of relying less upon older, inefficient power plants, many of which have been operating for decades.

“There is often little good news for the environmental community in this area but, clearly, the lessening of our reliance on older units because of the availability of new natural gas-fired, combined-cycle units similar to Caithness has helped to dramatically clean up the air shed,” said Ross D. Ain, President, Caithness Long Island, LLC. “We are pleased that Caithness has been a meaningful contributor to the broader regional improvement in air quality, and that, as additional new clean-power-generation facilities lessen the reliance on older power plants, further reductions in emissions can be expected.”

About Caithness Long Island, LLC
Caithness Long Island, 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 at www.caithnesslongisland.com.

Who We Are

Caithness Energy, L.L.C. ("Caithness") is a privately held Independent Power Producer specializing in the development, acquisition, operation and management of renewable energy and natural gas fueled power projects.

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Office: 212-921-9099
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