Thursday, August 30, 2012

Con Ed, RIOC and Roosevelt Island Building Representatives Meet To Discuss Future Energy and Gas Service Needs, Here's What Happened - Also, Verdant Power Installs New East River Turbine Yesterday

Reported on August 7 that:
... representatives from Con Ed, Cornell, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and various building representatives met to discuss future Roosevelt Island energy usage including the possibility of Con Ed providing high pressure gas service to Roosevelt Island. (high pressure gas service was discussed at this April 16 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting). Although originally invited to attend this meeting by RIOC, the press was subsequently denied permission to attend the meeting by Con Ed. Hope to have more on what happened at this meeting soon....
It's taken some time to obtain any information about the meeting but below are the minutes of the meeting prepared by a Con Ed representative and shared with the Roosevelt Island community by one of the participants from the meeting:
Meeting Purpose
Con Edison has received a number of requests for new or upgraded gas service on Roosevelt Island. The existing gas infrastructure on Roosevelt Island is not capable of supplying all the requested gas without reinforcement. Con Edison seeks to ensure it is aware of all proposed gas projects on the island for the foreseeable future in order to make efficient plans for upgrading the gas infrastructure.

Con Edison reviewed the list of addresses for which load letters have been received. The fire station is expected to submit a load letter for gas service. Apart from the fire station the attendees did not identify any other additional expected load letters.
Locations for which load letters have been received
• Applied Science Campus
• Coler Hospital
• AVAC building
• Motorgate (including retail spaces)
• Sports Park
• South Town Towers 7, 8 & 9
• Eastwood Building retail spaces: 504-570 Main Street
• Rivercross Building retail spaces: 503-527 main street
• Westview building retail spaces: 591-619 main street
• Island House building retail spaces: 549-571 main street.
• PS217
• Rivercross Building residential heating
• Child School

Based on the submitted load letters to-date, Con Edison will be able to supply all proposed by performing upgrades to the medium pressure system in two phases.

• Phase 1 (by July 2013): Install 1880 feet of 8” piping at the northern end of the island.
• Phase 2 (to be finalized): Install 3,286 feet of 8” piping at the southern end of the island.

All infrastructure upgrades will avoid main street where possible, in preference for walkways or unpaved surfaces. It may be necessary to cross streets at certain locations. The current infrastructure improvement plans noted above should take approximately three months each phase to complete.

The Rivercross building stated that plans have been completed and capital allocated for their proposed electric to gas conversion of residential heating. If gas is available Rivercross would like to make the conversion in advance of the 2013 heating season. Rivercross stated it will remain on interruptible service after their conversion to gas heating.

The load letter submitted by the Rivercross building includes retail spaces and building residential heating. The Hudson Companies has separately submitted load letters for the retail spaces in the Rivercross building. The Rivercross load letter will be revised to omit the retail spaces and to indicate which equipment is installed for redundancy.

Cornell University representatives stated that they are planning to proceed with the geothermal heat pumps. Cornell University indicated that a second phase is planned in 2027. Previously Con Edison was only informed of a two phases, 2016 and 2037. Cornell University will provide additional details on the phase two loads.

The load letter for the Eastwood building (dated 7-23-12) submitted by the Hudson Companies contained loads for the Child School. The separately submitted load letters for the Child School (submitted 8-3-12) have different values that differ from the Eastwood Building load letter. The loads in the Child School specific load letter are to be used, instead of the loads submitted by the Hudson Companies to Con Edison for evaluating service needs.

In the event additional load letters are received requiring a significant volume of gas, it may become necessary to upgrade the gas system on Roosevelt Island to high pressure. This may include the installation of a new gas pipe from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island in the existing utility tunnel, upgrading all pressure regulators on Roosevelt Island, and upgrades of couplings. This process would me much more extensive and may take as long as a year and will be more expensive that the currently proposed medium pressure upgrades. If an upgrade to high pressure is required, a capital contribution may be required for the customers on Roosevelt Island as per the PSC tariff.

Action Items
  • Rivercross to resubmit load their load letter omitting the retail spaces and indicating which equipment is installed for redundancy.
  • Cornell University to resubmit their load letter indicating they will be pursuing the geothermal heat pumps and including 2027 loads.
  • Con Edison to follow up with PS 217 to confirm their service date and plans to install equipment by the desired service date.
  • Con Edison to finalize the completion date for phase two of the upgrade based on confirmed service date for all projects.
More information on Con Ed High Pressure gas issues available, including video of RIOC Operations Committee meeting discussions, here and here.

Con Ed's spokesperson added that the Roosevelt Island energy/ natural gas discussions are still in a very preliminary stage. RIOC declined any comment on the meeting.

In other Roosevelt Island energy news, Verdant Power installed its latest prototype water turbine in East River next to Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket yesterday afternoon. The new turbine will undergo tests for the next two weeks.

Here ere are some scenes from yesterday's Verdant Turbine East River installation.

A barge brought the turbine to its location just north of the Roosevelt Island Bridge

the turbine was then lifted by crane

and placed in the East River.

Will have more on this next week, including video interview with Verdant President Trey Taylor who discusses future Roosevelt Island energy plans.

More on Verdant Power's Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project from their web site here and from previous post.

UPDATE 9/6 - More on Verdant Power turbine installation including interview with Verdant President Trey Taylor here.