Ask Cricket Valley
Click on a topic to learn more and link to related pages. Click here to view Cricket Valley Energy Center’s monthly progress presentation to the Dover Town Board. Contact us for more information or help locating topics in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which is available on our Documents page.
Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is using the state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that the facility produces the lowest emissions rates of any natural gas powered combined cycle plant in New York State. As discussed in Section 4 of the FEIS, CVEC’s impact on air quality has been deemed insignificant even for the most vulnerable individuals, including those with asthma and the elderly.
As one of the most efficient, reliable and least emitting energy producers, CVEC will provide electricity that currently is produced by higher polluting oil, gas, and coal fired power plants identified on the map below, enabling New York State to displace some of those other producers, and helping reduce regional emissions of NOx, SO2 and CO2.
By design, the emissions from CVEC will be released at sufficient height to dissipate emissions.
Click here to view additional information about air quality or continue to the FAQs section below.
Cricket Valley Energy Center’s (CVEC) design incorporates air-cooling technology to reduce water use by more than 98%, with a rooftop rainfall capture system to provide a supplemental supply of water and a stormwater management plan that controls rainfall run-off with a natural filtration system. CVEC will use, on average, about 15 gallons of water per minute during cooler months and up to 60 gallons per minute during the hotter summer months. By way of comparison, a garden hose uses an average of 5 to 10 gallons per minute.
No process water will be discharged into the Swamp River and CVEC has incorporated stormwater management techniques to minimize impact on the flow of the River. Wells drilled on the CVEC site into the bedrock aquifer have produced sufficient water to meet the needs of the facility and have been tested to ensure that impacts to neighboring wells, the surface aquifer, the Swamp River and associated wetlands are insignificant. A full discussion of CVEC water use and an analysis of the well tests are available in Section 5 and Appendix 5-E of the FEIS.
Studies conducted by Russell Urban-Mead, Senior Hydrogeologist and author of the 1999 Harlem Valley Aquifer Study have found that even during drought conditions CVEC will have a small impact on the water budget, with sufficient water available for future projects in the area. This study is available as Appendix 5-C of the FEIS.
Sight, Sound & Smell
A 300-foot buffer of existing mature trees along Route 22 and the location of the project in a valley will continue to reduce the visual impact of the site.
A compact footprint has been designed to minimize visual impact including co-locating the three 282.5 foot stacks to preserve the rural character of Dover. An analysis of potential site visibility has been conducted and is available as Figure 6.2-2 in the FEIS.
Noise modeling analysis has demonstrated that when operational, the project will meet the requirements of the DEC and the Dover Town Zoning Code, and that the occasional noise during construction will be temporary. A complete analysis of CVEC noise impacts is discussed in Appendix 6.3.4 of the FEIS.
Construction noise is prohibited between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. except in case of an urgent necessity in the interest of public safety.
Sound level limits of 50 dB(A) will be met at all non-industrial property lines, which includes all property lines adjacent to residences and schools (see Figure 188.8.131.52). As shown in 184.108.40.206, this decibel level is equivalent to the background noise of a typical office.
There are no odors associated with the routine operations of natural gas fueled power plants.
Wetlands & Environment
There will be no work within the Great Swamp Critical Environmental Area, and no hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, at this project.
Seventy-nine (79) acres of the project’s 193 acres will be conserved, and the compact design reuses the existing industrial footprint to limit the project area. On the development site, there is currently a wetland area that was damaged by previous uses – CVEC will restore these damaged wetlands, and will conform to the federal “no net loss” wetland policy. A discussion of wetland impact and restoration is available in Section 3.3.1 and Appendix 3-A of the FEIS.
No significant wildlife habitat areas will be lost and no rare, threatened or endangered species will be displaced. Detailed discussion and analysis of protected species can be found in Section 3.3.3 and Appendix 3-C of the FEIS.
Traffic & Safety
A traffic study of the cumulative impacts of this project, additional projects (including Dover Knolls) and population growth in Dover demonstrated that following construction of the plant, all intersections will operate at an acceptable level of service. These findings are discussed in detail in Section 6.2 of the FEIS.
During construction, the majority of workers will park on-site at the newly acquired former Rasco parcel. In addition, Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) construction schedules will be coordinated to avoid school bus schedules and peak commuting times. A map which includes the CVEC site, the temporary parking areas, and the traffic study corridor is available as Figure 6.2.3 of the FEIS.
Additional temporary improvements to ensure mobility during construction include a temporary traffic signal and turning lanes at the intersections of Route 22 and the project entrance (located at 2241 Route 22). All other nearby intersections on Route 22 will operate at an acceptable levels of service.
Some construction materials will be stored temporarily at a remote Laydown Site, located 2.5 miles north of the site, however no chemicals or hazardous materials will be stored at the Laydown Site. The Laydown Site will be restored to its original use as an agricultural field after construction.
CVEC’s Comprehensive Site and Safety Plan (CSSP), developed in cooperation with local Dover fire and emergency officials, will detail safety procedures, training and testing that will be required before workers may enter the property, with a zero tolerance policy for non-compliance.
There will be unannounced safety review visits by regulating agencies, and in addition to perimeter fencing and electronically-monitored gates, authorized staff will be on site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, as discussed in Section 1.3.9 of the FEIS.
CVEC will use inert gases, such as nitrogen or air, to test and clean lines during construction, meeting the latest industry best practice safety standards. Included in the DEIS analysis are simulations of worst-case scenarios, used to develop a state-of-the-art safety program that incorporates fire suppression, security, and other prevention measures.
CVEC will continue to coordinate with the Town of Dover’s first responders: police and fire, Dutchess County officials, New York State Department of Transportation, and OSHA.
Jobs & Taxes
The project will provide the productive reuse of an inactive industrial parcel, meet regional energy needs, and contribute to the tax base without significant impact to the community or environment.
1,100 jobs will be created to support peak construction of the Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) throughout the 3-year construction period. These jobs will produce approximately $80 million dollars in annual salaries.
During construction, 74 percent of the total jobs created are anticipated to be filled by residents of Dutchess County.
Following construction, the direct, indirect and induced employment impacts of up to 28 permanent jobs will contribute approximately $3.4 million in labor income to Dutchess County.
In addition to job creation, the local economy will benefit from the purchase of locally-sourced materials and services during and after construction. The annual operation of the project is estimated to result in an increase in regional economic activity of $21.8 million. For a full discussion of CVEC’s economic benefits, please see Section 6.3.7 of the FEIS.
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Frequently asked questions and topics related to Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) are included here.
What is Cricket Valley Energy Center?
The Cricket Valley Energy Center is a fully permitted 1,100 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, electric generating plant in Dover, NY. The natural gas-fired facility will use state-of-the-art, environmentally-responsible combustion turbine technology, and will be among the most efficient energy producers in New York, with the ability to generate electricity for nearly one million homes.
Advanced Power, the parent company of Cricket Valley Energy Center, identified the site located off Route 22 in Dover New York as a “smart site” for the project because it is currently industrially-zoned, with existing infrastructure, including electric power lines and a natural gas pipeline. In addition, it provides a natural buffer of trees and topography to minimize visual impacts to the surrounding community. The site provides an opportunity to revitalize a dormant property, create jobs, and generate tax revenue for Dover.
Will I see it? Hear it? Smell it?
Visual: A natural buffer of existing trees and the topography of the site will reduce the visual impact of the Cricket Valley Energy Center facility. During the Environmental Review Process, the project team created visual aids to provide an accurate view of exactly what will be visible.
Noise: Modern natural-gas fired power plants are surprisingly quiet. The facility will be designed to meet the local noise ordinance of 50 decibels at the property line – the same as quiet conversation or rainfall.
Smell: The plant will have no odors and there will be no smell associated with operations.
Is this plant safe?
Yes. The facility will include state-of-the-art control systems with top-of-the-line fire detection, alarms, and suppression mechanisms that have been developed in consultation with Town of Dover fire and emergency services officials. At any sign of irregularity, the advanced technology and sensitive instrumentation will automatically shut down the facility and fuel supply.
What are the benefits?
Cricket Valley Energy Center is a fully permitted $1.58 billion, privately-financed facility with significant benefits to the Dover community and Dutchess County. It will provide up to 1,100 local construction jobs with annual salaries totaling $50 million, and up to 28 direct permanent positions, with a combined $3.4 million in annual salaries during operation. In addition to new jobs, Cricket Valley Energy Center will stimulate the local economy with the purchase of locally-sourced materials and services. Cricket Valley Energy Center will add up to $4 million in taxes to the school system, the Town of Dover, and Dutchess County.
Where will you get water for operations?
The Cricket Valley Energy Center facility will obtain water from deep underground wells in order to prevent impact on the Swamp River and surface aquifer. The project will utilize air-cooled condensers, which reduce water use by more than 98% compared to traditional cooling methods in comparable facilities. In addition, the facility has designed a zero-liquid discharge system which means that no water will be released to the area surrounding the site. Also, a stormwater management plan, including native landscaping and collection raingardens, will minimize runoff from rainfall.
What comes out of the stacks?
Cricket Valley Energy Center will use Best Available Control Technologies (BACT) and a Lowest Achievable Emissions Rate (LAER) to minimize emissions and preserve local air quality. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil-fuel, with significantly lower emissions than conventional electricity sources such as coal or oil. Natural gas releases about 40% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal, and releases smaller proportions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and almost no sulfur dioxide (SO2).
Where does the electricity go?
The electricity produced at Cricket Valley Energy Center will feed into the existing transmission corridor immediately adjacent to the site. As part of its permitting process, CVEC has been required by New York State to upgrade and improve the existing 50-year old electrical infrastructure capacity in the region.
Why do we need this plant?
Natural gas is part of the solution to America’s energy needs and is critical to supporting New York’s long-term energy policy goals. As legislation sets aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, natural gas will play an essential role in shouldering the needs of the electric grid, helping displace dirty, inefficient coal and oil-fired generators, and advancing the transition to a low-carbon economy.
How will this affect my property value?
The Cricket Valley Energy Center will strengthen the value of the Dover community through increased tax revenue, job creation, and ongoing support for local organizations, businesses, and schools.
Who is responsible for reviewing and approving the Cricket Valley Energy Center?
Cricket Valley Energy Center successfully completed an environmental analysis and engineering design process to ensure that its facility is the right fit for the Dover community. The project underwent a detailed and comprehensive review through the New York State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. The SEQR process included the Town of Dover, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Public Service Commission, in addition to a robust public involvement program to solicit input and guidance from local residents and stakeholders. To review the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) online, please visit the CVEC Documents page.
Where will the natural gas originate?
Cricket Valley Energy Center will use North American natural gas – 98% of all gas consumed in the U.S. is produced in North America – making it a domestically-sourced alternative that will help the U.S. achieve energy independence.
Is CVEC located on a Brownfield or Superfund site?
No, the Cricket Valley Energy Center site has not been designated as a Superfund or Brownfield site under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Site demolition, disposal, and remediation will be entirely paid for through private funding.
Who is Advanced Power?
Cricket Valley Energy Center is an affiliate of Advanced Power AG, a leading international energy developer of power generation and related infrastructure projects throughout Europe and North America. Advanced Power AG has over 7,000 MW in operation, under construction or under development in the United States and Europe.
How was the public involved in the environmental review?
The Cricket Valley Energy Center conducted a robust and extensive public involvement program throughout the environmental review process, significantly exceeding public notification requirements. The program included Advisory Working Groups, public meetings, newsletters, this website, fact sheets, advertisements, and news releases to keep the public informed, involved, and engaged.
Will CVEC have an adverse impact on air quality and health?
No. The project will not have an adverse impact on air quality and health in the Valley or elsewhere. A rigorous review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) of CVEC’s air quality impact analysis found this project will comply with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at levels determined to be protective of the health of the most sensitive members of the public, including children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses such as chronic asthma and emphysema.
In fact, the project’s air emissions do not include any unique contaminants not already present in ambient air. Project emissions are essentially the same products of combustion generated by existing combustion sources, such as natural gas-fired residential furnaces or stoves.
Why didn’t CVEC use NYSERDA’s New York State Wind Database’s wind rose to determine air quality impacts?
The New York State Wind Database’s wind rose provides preliminary guidance for building wind turbines. The wind rose is not comprehensive enough for the NYSDEC or USEPA to use for issuing air quality permits for power plants. Here’s why.
The NYS Wind Database is based on AWS Truewind data. AWS data represents regionalized average conditions at a height of 50-80 meters, or approximately 160 to 256 feet above the ground. AWS data does not consider some very important factors including how air travels over and is channeled through terrain. This information is essential in identifying air quality impacts for the CVEC project site.
Both NYSDEC and USEPA required the use of the National Climatic Data Center’s Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) at the Poughkeepsie airport (KPOU) as well as upper air data collected by radiosonde (an instrument carried by a weather balloon to various levels of the atmosphere) from a meteorological station in Albany. That data set was reviewed and approved by NYSDEC and USEPA meteorologists in the modeling protocol and again in the review of the air permit application’s dispersion modeling. The modeling analysis was extremely thorough, followed strict NYSDEC and USEPA guidance, and was subject to detailed review by NYSDEC and USEPA meteorologists, who independently confirmed the results of the analysis. The review process took more than two years to complete and reflects the agencies’ careful scrutiny of every aspect of the air quality modeling analyses, which confirmed the project’s compliance with all applicable air quality standards.
Even though CVEC meets health-based air quality standards, won’t the project still degrade air quality?
No. As part of the permitting process, CVEC was required to demonstrate that it will not appreciably degrade existing air quality levels through the conduct of a USEPA Prevention of Significant Deterioration review, which is an important part of the required demonstration of compliance with the health- based NAAQS.
Although the project’s air quality modeling does not take any credit for it, operation of the CVEC will displace (reduce) the operation of older, higher emitting power plants, all of which contribute to air quality throughout the region. This project will help continue the trend of improved air quality that has been observed since the 1980s, which has been greatly aided by the development of new state-of-the-art facilities like CVEC, which continue to reduce our reliance on less environmentally friendly power plants.
Will CVEC affect vegetation, crops, and/or organic farms in the region?
CVEC will have no impact on vegetation/food crops or organic farming in the area. As part of the permitting process, the USEPA required CVEC to demonstrate that even the most sensitive soils or vegetation—including crops—will not be adversely effected by the project. USEPA and NYSDEC concurred with these findings.
If the project’s air quality impacts are so low, why did it need to buy emissions offsets? Wasn’t that just to avoid putting on expensive emissions controls?
Emissions offsets cannot be used to avoid expensive emissions control systems. CVEC is using the best available control technologies and a lowest achievable emissions rate to meet all federal and state air quality standards. Because Dover is located within an area designated as not in attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone (smog), it is subject to Non-attainment New Source Review and must obtain emissions offsets for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) at a specified ratio.
The offset requirement does not relax any of the other control technology or dispersion modeling requirements for the project. Offsets are intended to result in additional benefits to regional air quality.
I’ve heard that emissions offsets are meaningless.
Emissions offsets must meet NYSDEC and USEPA requirements that:
- They are certified emission reduction credits (ERCs) that represent real reductions in actual emissions;
- They are permanent reductions that are enforceable, such as the surrender of the donor source’s air permit;
- They are emissions reductions that were not otherwise required to occur; and
- The emissions reductions that occur contribute to ozone formation at the location of the proposed new source.
The project has obtained certified ERCs equal to 115% of the project’s maximum potential emissions of NOx and VOCs from sources determined by NYSDEC to contribute to ozone nonattainment in the Dover area, as required.
Aren’t some VOC emissions carcinogenic? Since there is no NAAQS for VOCs, how can we be sure there won’t be adverse health impacts from VOCs that are toxic?
NYSDEC has established, and periodically updates, annual and short-term screening concentrations for toxins to protect the public from adverse effects of exposure to air contaminants. Maximum predicted impacts from the project are well below all NYSDEC guideline concentrations, which indicates that the effects of these contaminants is negligible.
Won’t the project carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions contribute to climate change?
New York participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a region-wide CO2 cap-and- trade program that incentivizes the use of more efficient energy sources like CVEC in terms of greenhouse gas. The region-wide CO2 cap declines over time, thus ensuring that CO2 emissions from the power sector will also continue to decline. The project is a participant in the program, and must hold RGGI CO2 allowances equal to its annual emissions to operate.
The project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) included an economic dispatch analysis to examine the net effect of the project to the electric generation portfolio in New York State. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) dispatches (turns on and off) power plants to meet demand roughly in the order of their fuel and operation cost. Because of the project’s superior efficiency, it will be dispatched ahead of older units that need to burn more fuel to make the same amount of electricity. The dispatch analysis concluded that adding the project to the generation portfolio in New York State would result in a net decrease of more than 650,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions, compared to the grid without the addition of the project.
Why build this project now when we have so many wind and solar projects coming online?
While wind and solar projects are an integral part of our energy mix, they are intermittent resources. In addition to wind and solar, the grid needs low-cost, low-emission baseload power plants. Wind and solar projects have no fuel cost, so they will almost always be dispatched ahead of CVEC when they are available. Therefore, CVEC would not preclude any additional CO2 savings that could be derived from increased development of renewable energy projects in New York State.
Will the project use “fracked” natural gas?
The project will receive natural gas via the existing Iroquois natural gas pipeline that is currently located adjacent to the site. CVEC is a recipient, not a producer, of natural gas, and has no control over the source of natural gas that runs in the pipeline. The natural gas received by CVEC will be the same natural gas used by homes, businesses, and other industrial users in the area.
Won’t the lifecycle impacts of methane leakage associated with the production, processing, and transmission of natural gas negate any CO2 savings from displacing older facilities?
Because the older facilities that the project will displace also have indirect lifecycle CO2 emissions, operation of the CVEC will result in a net decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, even accounting for all life-cycle emissions. As a consumer, but not producer of natural gas, CVEC does not control natural gas extraction and delivery; however, it does advance a program of best practices, which includes the conduct of routine monitoring of onsite natural gas piping and related components.