The plant will use less fuel, cut greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants by 40 percent and will result in between $15 million and $25 million in savings annually to co-op residents.
Traditional power plants convert fuels such as oil or natural gas to electricity inefficiently because the conversion generates wasted heat. Co-generation plants divert that heat for other uses.
In tri-generation plants, fuel is used for three separate functions - it generates electricity, uses the waste heat or steam for heating and cooling, and diverts the excess steam to a turbine that generates even more electricity and heat energy, making it the most efficient type of power plant in use.
At the tri-generation plant start-up event today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg flips the switch and holds up three fingers to indicate that the plant generates power three ways. (Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)
The newly renovated Co-Op City plant will remove the complex from the New York City electrical grid, making it fully self sufficient. Extra power generated by the plant will be available for power companies to use in case of a brown out or black out during the peak summer months.
The new plant will generate more power than Co-Op city uses each year, allowing for the sale of excess power to utility companies, that will provide an additional source of revenue for the Riverbay Corporation which manages Co-Op City.
The Co-Op City housing complex is home to more than 55,000 New Yorkers. The complex was formerly the largest user of number six fuel oil in the city, emitting 3,400 tons of pollutants annually.
This new plant will burn cleaner fuel, transforming it from one of the dirtiest, least efficient plants into a model of efficiency and environmental friendliness.
"The kind of emission reductions that we'll see as a result of this new plant will make a real difference here in the Bronx, where in some neighborhoods, children are hospitalized for asthma at four times the national rate," said Mayor Bloomberg.
"We're grateful to the Mayor's Office and the Department of Environmental Protection for helping us to facilitate this vital new infrastructure for Co-Op City," said Othelia Jones, president of Riverbay Corporation's Board of Directors. "The mayor has been there for Co-Op City and we're pleased that he's on hand today to mark this important occasion for the 55,000 residents of our community."
Last year Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC, a series of 127 initiatives aimed at cutting New York city's total carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Those initiatives include efforts to reduce pollution from the city's power plants.
"This new plant will help us achieve another important goal of our PlaNYC," the mayor said, "making New York have the cleanest air of any major city in America."
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.