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NYISO receives power generator retirement notices to comply with 'peaker rule'


156.2 MW of retirements posted April 6

Rule forecast to reduce reliability margins

  • Author
  • Jared Anderson
  • Editor
  • Shashwat Pradhan
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power Energy Transition Natural Gas

The New York Independent System Operator has been receiving power generator retirement notices, with 156.2 MW of capacity posted April 6, as power plant owners work to comply with the New York City "peaker rule" designed to shut down the high greenhouse gas-emitting units.

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The rule, enforced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, is officially known as Subpart 227-3, Ozone Season Oxides of Nitrogen Emission Limits for Simple Cycle and Regenerative Combustion Turbines.

The regulations tighten emissions standards for simple-cycle combustion turbines during the summer ozone season, impacting peaking power generation capacity around New York City. Power plant owners must comply with the rules that will be phased in by May 1, 2023, and 2025.

The owners of 648.3 MW of peak power generation capacity in and around New York City have elected to retire the natural gas- and oil-fired units to comply with the stricter air emissions regulations, while approximately 1,300 MW will be retrofitted with pollution control equipment, according to a review of the compliance plans.

Deactivation notices

The NYISO posted three completed generator deactivation notices on its website April 6.

Nassau Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ENGIE North America, submitted a retirement notice for its 55-MW TRIGEN_CC facility located within the NYISO's Long Island Zone K, according to the document.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York submitted a notice to retire its Hudson Avenue 3 and 5 units located in NYISO New York City Zone J. Each unit has a nameplate capacity of 16.3 MW and Con Edison has proposed a deactivation date of Nov. 1, 2022.

And generation owner Helix Ravenswood said that it intends to cease operation and retire three gas-fired combustion turbine units on May 1, 2023. The Ravenswood gas turbines began operation between 1967 and 1970, have a combined nameplate rating of 68.6 MW, and are in NYISO Zone J.

The company said in the retirement notice that as of May 1, 2023, Ravenswood will not have any gas-fired turbines in operation at its site, having already retired units totaling 381.1 MW at the location in Queens, New York.

In late February, Astoria Gas Turbine Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, submitted a retirement notice for 12 dual fuel, simple cycle combustion turbine generating units that began operation in 1970 totaling 558 MW of capacity.

The NYISO's Comprehensive Reliability Plan, released in December 2021, found that New York State's bulk power transmission facilities "as planned will meet all currently applicable reliability criteria from 2021 through 2030 for forecasted system demand in normal weather."

The reliability plan determined that reliability can be maintained with the peaker rule retirements, but it also identified risk factors that could arise for several reasons including climate, economic, regulatory, and policy drivers.

"Reliability margins will shrink in upcoming years due primarily to the planned unavailability of simple cycle combustion turbines that are impacted by the DEC's peaker rule," the NYISO said in the report.

Over the next 10-year period, the NYISO forecasts a decrease in electricity demand due to energy efficiency initiatives and increasing volumes of behind the meter solar generation.

However, significant load-increasing impacts have also been forecast due to expected growth in electric vehicle usage, large cloud-computing data centers, and other electrification like converting home heating, cooking, water heating and other end-uses from fossil-fuel based systems to electric systems, the NYISO said.