NYPA To Lead Nation With Clean School
Bus Program; Part of $23 Million Program to Offset Emissions From Clean Natural Gas
Turbines Installed in New York City
December 4, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINSThe New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced the details of
a $23 million program designed to offset emissions of air pollutants in four New York City
boroughs, including a groundbreaking $6 million program to install pollution control
systems on 1,000 city school buses.
The PowerNow! Emission Offset program fulfills the Power Authoritys pledge,
through a series of clean air initiatives, to offset the air emissions generated by the
Power Authoritys ten small natural gas-fired turbines at sites in the Bronx,
Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The program will be financed, administered and
implemented by the Power Authority with assistance from the New York Energy Research and
Development Authority (NYSERDA).
"School buses carry our most precious resource, our children, and today we
announce the nations largest program to reduce school bus emissions ensuring that
another resource, our air, will be cleaner and purer for our youngest citizens, and all of
us," said Joseph J. Seymour, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York
"To meet growing energy demands in environmentally-sound ways, the Power
Authoritys turbine project, which proved itself by helping keep the lights on during
last Augusts record-breaking heat wave, will now also contribute to even cleaner
air," Seymour added.
In addition to the installation of pollution control systems on 1,000 school buses,
that will operate in the boroughs where the turbines were installed, the program also
includes installation of eight non-polluting fuel cells at New York City wastewater
treatment plants, plus a variety of other energy-efficiency and emission reduction
Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Erin M.
Crotty, said, "DEC has been working cooperatively with NYPA and other state agencies
to improve and protect New Yorks air quality, and to ensure that New Yorkers have
clean and reliable sources of energy. NYPAs voluntary commitment to offset emissions
in those communities where their new turbines are operating successfully demonstrates that
we can achieve both goals simultaneously."
"NYSERDA is pleased to be part of the PowerNow! Emission Offset program,"
said NYSERDA Chairman Vincent A. DeIorio. "This program is once again demonstrating
that sound energy policy and sound environmental policy are one and the same."
The school buses that participate in the program will be equipped with a diesel
particulate filter (DPF) a particulate trap. A DPF is a device containing a
regenerative catalyst and a filter that is installed on a vehicle in place of the muffler.
Vehicles with DPFs, engine adjustments and fueled with ultra-low sulfur diesel reduce
emission levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and total
hydrocarbons. These emission controls are above and beyond any legal requirements and New
York is the first state in the nation to use this unique, state-of-the-art environmental
technology for a large fleet of school buses. An added benefit of the technology is
quieter operation of the buses.
The pilot program for equipping up to 1,000 school buses with particulate traps is
scheduled to begin this winter in the Bronx where four of the new turbines are located.
This $6 million program will then roll-out, after the period of testing and evaluation,
over the next year in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island which are the boroughs
where turbines are located.
The Power Authority, in cooperation with NYSERDA, has identified four wastewater
treatment plants, in the vicinity of turbine sites, as preferable locations for fuel cell
installation. The fuel cells will produce power for and reduce emissions from the
wastewater treatment plants operated by the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) at a total cost of $ 12.9 million. The proposed sites, subject to
approval by DEP, are:
Bronx: three fuel cells in Hunts Point at Coster Street and Ryawa Ave, Bronx , NY
Brooklyn: two fuel cells in Red Hook, at 63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205.
Queens: two fuel cells in Bowery Bay, at 43-01 Berrian Boulevard, Astoria NY 11105.
Staten Island: one fuel cell in Oakwood Beach at 751 Mill Road, Staten Island, NY
Fuel cells are highly efficient, non-polluting, power-generating devices. They produce
electricity by causing a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen is
derived from the air. The hydrogen can be derived from any hydrocarbon fuel, including
anaerobic digester gas (ADG), the by-product of wastewater treatment. The electric and
thermal energy produced by fuel cells is consumed on site.
"We are extremely pleased to play an important role in the New York Power
Authoritys continuing mission to introduce emissions-free fuel cell power in New
York City region," said William T. Miller, president of UTC Fuel Cells, formerly
International Fuel Cells. "Our applications with NYPA at the police station in
Central Park and elsewhere in the New York City region have demonstrated the capabilities
of these units to meet customers needs.
As part of this program to offset emissions, several other energy-efficiency projects
are also being initiated.
Fund conversion of 8 postal trucks serving the South Bronx to electric vehicles.
Loan of 2-ton electric delivery truck to a Bronx community group, the Point Community
Development Corporation/Sustainable South Bronx, for use by local Hunts Point businesses.
Supply an electric school bus (seats 66) to serve 2 schools managed by the United
Talmudical Academy in Williamsburg.
Develop a plan, with New York State Energy Research & Development Authority
(NYSERDA), to reduce emissions by changing the paint process at Tri-boro Shelving &
Partition Corp., 296 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211.
Fund conversion of 8 postal trucks serving Staten Island to electric vehicles.
Convert the boiler at P.S. 13 to natural gas-fired and install high efficiency lighting.
P.S. 13, a 53,000 sq. ft. K-6 elementary school, is located about 1/2 mile from the new
turbine site on Staten Island. It is currently being expanded making it an ideal time to
accomplish the boiler conversion and high efficiency lighting installation. A brand new
boiler using natural gas will replace the existing 20 year-old boiler that uses No. 4 oil.
The new boiler is projected to significantly reduce emissions of nitrous and sulfur oxides
and particulates by a total of 2.5 tons per year. In addition, this program will balance
the air-conditioning system in rooms that serve as computer labs by improving the chilled
air and chilled water distribution in the school. The estimated cost of the boiler
conversion is $2.5 million. The high efficiency lighting system is expected to cost almost
$70,000, yet will save taxpayers almost $17,000 per year and reduce the use of energy in
the building by about 50 kw.
The eight new fuel cells are expected to reduce emissions by 164 tons per year. The
pollution controls installed on 1,000 school buses are expected to reduce emissions by 57
tons per year, most notably including an over 95% reduction in emissions of particulate
The electric vehicles, boiler conversion and additional energy efficiency projects
bring the collective emissions reduction from the PowerNow! Emission Offset program to a
total of 227 tons per year. Expected operations of the turbines will be far below those
levels of emissions.
The ten new turbines were installed at six sites around New York City as part of the
Power Authoritys over $500 million PowerNow! program. The natural gas-fired turbines
were intended to avert a serious power supply crisis in New York City. The state Public
Service Commission had advised the Power Authority of an urgent need for additional supply
this summer and recommended installation of additional capacity. The turbines are the
cleanest generators in New York City using the best environmental control technology
available. In addition, the Power Authority installed in each turbine, over $5 million in
pollution controls. The turbines were built by General Electric and rated as the most
fuel-efficient, simple-cycle natural gas turbines in the world.
As part of PowerNow!, an eleventh turbine was installed in Brentwood on Long Island.
Earlier the New York Power Authority launched a major effort to offset those emissions,
and to conserve energy and reduce annual energy costs to local taxpayers, through energy
efficiency projects in the Brentwood School District. Districts with energy use similar to
Brentwoods can achieve energy-efficiency savings on lighting of 20-30 percent, when
combined with other technologies this may result in annual cash savings of several hundred