Astoria, Queens—State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) commended state utilities regulators for granting approval for the construction of a $1.4 billion power plant in Astoria along the East River. The new plant will reduce toxic emissions at the site by more than 85% by replacing an older, less-efficient and dirtier plant.
“Western Queens residents can breathe a little easier today,” stated Senator Michael Gianaris. “We bear more than our fair share of the burden for producing New York’s electricity. Anytime we replace an old, dirty generator with a newer, cleaner one is a significant step in the right direction.”
The new repowered plant would be built in two phases over four years on a 15-acre section of Consolidated Edison’s 600-acre property on the East River that has long been the city’s hub of electricity generation. Western Queens provides over 60% of electric power for the entire city.
The new plant will be built by NRG Energy, and allows the company to shut down its existing generators on the site, which were installed in 1969 and produced 600 megawatts of power.
In their place, the company will install a new generator capable of churning out 1,040 megawatts, which will be enough to power 320,000 homes. More importantly, the new facility will emit just 12 percent of the pollution of the existing plants.
The first phase of the new plant will come on line in 2013, and the entire project will be finished by 2015. The project is expected to create 700 construction jobs.
For over a decade, Senator Gianaris has fought the proliferation of dirty power plants in western Queens. He is the author of landmark legislation, the Clean Energy Law, which encouraged power companies to replace outdated plants with cleaner, greener technology.
Senator Gianaris also helped lead the fight to close the Poletti Power Plant, the single largest source of pollution in New York over the last several decades.