Blogs > Clean Energy > Application to repower Danskammer remains deficient

Application to repower Danskammer remains deficient


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DanskammerDanskammer, LLC proposes replacing its existing natural gas peaker plant, located in the town of Newburgh, with a new baseload natural gas power plant that would run all the time. Danskammer claims that their new plant would be more environmentally friendly than the existing plant, but it threatens water and air quality especially in surrounding environmental justice communities like Newburgh and recent economic development predicated on local environmental improvements, and will fail to comply with New York’s new Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, thereby exacerbating the climate crisis.

Within the ongoing permitting process and in response to a deficiency notice, in July, Danskammer submitted a Supplemental Greenhouse Gas Analysis to the New York Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, which included the claim that its proposal would satisfy the CLCPA, because sometime before 2040, the facility could be modified to operate on hydrogen and renewable natural gas, also referred to as fossil gas alternatives. The document lacked any discussion on the specific modifications, costs, timeline, or how long the facility would be offline to implement the conversion. More importantly, there was no commitment that the facility would, indeed, actually implement a costly conversion to operate on hydrogen or FGA.

In August, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Sierra Club, Orange RAPP, and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater filed a joint motion with the Board in opposition to the Danskammer application. Our joint motion discussed how Danskammer’s submittal did not satisfy CLCPA requirements, as the assertions within were “speculative, non-specific, non-committal, unenforceable, and incomplete.” We proposed two potential remedies, one of which would require Daskammer to “submit additional information to fully detail its proposals regarding the use of FGA/hydrogen and thereby complete its Article 10 application.”

The Board agreed with our joint motion. This Tuesday, the Chair of the Board issued a letter directing Danskammer to “provide additional information to fully detail the Applicant’s proposal regarding the use of RNG and/or hydrogen, including: information demonstrating that the use of RNG and/or hydrogen is feasible at the Danskammer Facility; what if any reconfiguration and/or additional infrastructure would be needed to convert the Facility to RNG and/or hydrogen; whether the Applicant intends to commit to the use of RNG and/or hydrogen; and an explanation of how either RNG or hydrogen would qualify as a renewable energy resource and/or a zero emissions carbon resource …”

Riverkeeper thanks the New York Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment for recognizing the Danskammer application lacked sufficient detail and commitment to show that its proposed plan would satisfy the CLCPA. Riverkeeper also thanks our allies on this, and in particular Scenic Hudson and Earthjustice (representing Sierra Club and Orange RAPP in this case) for their hard work in spearheading the successful motion.

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