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Ask Cricket Valley

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Air Quality

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 here to read more about the start-up process.

Water Quality

Air-cooling technology at Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) reduces water use by more than 98%, and a rooftop rainfall capture system is used to provide a supplemental supply of water and a stormwater management plan. On average, the facility uses 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 5 to 10 gallons per minute.

No process water is 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 produce 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, located in the Archive on this website.

Studies conducted by Russell Urban-Mead, Senior Hydrogeologist and author of the 1999 Harlem Valley Aquifer Study, 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, located in the Archive on this website.

Sight, Sound & Smell

Sight

A 300-foot buffer of existing mature trees along Route 22 and the location of the plant in a valley reduces the visual impact of the site. In addition, CVEC co-located the three facility stacks to preserve the rural character of Dover.

Sound

During the environmental review and permitting process, CVEC completed noise level studies to ensure the plant would be at or below 50 decibels, the requirements of the DEC and the Dover Town Zoning Code. The 50-decibel level is comparable to the background noise of a typical office and sounds like a faint hum. Sound levels of 50-dB(A) will be met at all non-industrial property lines.

A decibel, or dB(A), is a degree of loudness: typical sound levels are shown in Figure 1.

A complete analysis of CVEC noise impacts is discussed in Appendix 6.3.4 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), located in the Archive section of this website.

Prior to the project starting construction, CVEC worked with the Town of Dover to finalize a noise mitigation plan which demonstrates how the site’s operations will be consistent with the Town of Dover Noise Code and other related State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requirements. This plan was reviewed and approved by the Town of Dover. During operations, CVEC complies with the Town Noise Ordinance at property boundaries, specifically 50-decibel at the property boundary and 65-decibel along the Metro North Rail.

The CVEC site was chosen, in part, for the wide tree buffer that provides a visual and sound barrier. In addition, the plant has been designed to enclose most of the equipment within an insulated and soundproof building structure, which helps mitigate noise levels.

Smell

There are no odors associated with the routine operations of natural gas-fueled power plants.

Wetlands & Environment

There is no work done within the Great Swamp Critical Environmental Area, and no hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” at this project.

Seventy-nine (79) of the project’s 193 acres have been conserved, and the compact design reused the existing industrial footprint to limit the project area. A wetland area that was damaged by previous uses has also been restored by CVEC and conforms 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, available in the Archive section of this website.

No significant wildlife habitat areas have been lost, and no rare, threatened or endangered species have been displaced. Detailed discussion and analysis of protected species can be found in Section 3.3.3 and Appendix 3-C of the FEIS, available in the Archive section of this website.

The project was recognized with the Ducks Unlimited Wetlands Remediation Award in 2017 for revitalizing and conserving the site’s 79 acres of wetlands, and its commitment to protecting and preserving the wetlands for future generations. Once an abandoned industrial site, CVEC restored wetlands damaged during prior uses of the property, and purchased and remediated an adjacent property, locally known as the Rasco site.

Traffic & Safety

A traffic study of the cumulative impacts of this project, additional projects (including Dover Knolls) and population growth in Dover, demonstrated that all intersections operate at an acceptable level of service. These findings are discussed in detail in Section 6.2 of the FEIS, available in the Archive section of this website.

CVEC’s Comprehensive Site and Safety Plan (CSSP), developed in cooperation with local Dover fire and emergency officials, details safety procedures, training and, a zero-tolerance policy for non-compliance.

Unannounced safety review visits are conducted by regulating agencies, perimeter fencing and electronically monitored gates are installed, and authorized staff is on site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

CVEC coordinates safety planning with the Town of Dover’s first responders and Dutchess County officials, along with NYSDOT and OSHA.

Use and Storage of Aqueous Ammonia

Plants like CVEC commonly use two types of ammonia in operation: anhydrous and aqueous. Anhydrous is much less expensive, but aqueous ammonia, a solution of water and ammonia, is safer to transport, store and handle. When the plant begins operations, CVEC will use aqueous ammonia.

Click here to view additional information about aqueous ammonia or continue to the FAQs section below.

Jobs & Taxes

The project provides the productive reuse of an inactive industrial parcel, meets regional energy needs, and contributes to the tax base without significant impact to the community or environment.

During the construction of the facility, over 1,100 workers were employed, representing over $80 million in annual salaries.

During operations, the direct, indirect and induced employment impacts of up to 28 permanent jobs contribute approximately $3.4 million in labor income to Dutchess County.

In addition to job creation, the local economy benefits from the purchase of locally sourced materials and services. The annual operation of the project results in an estimated 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, available in the Archive section of this website.

Fact Sheets

Air Quality

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Aqueous Ammonia

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Start-Up Process

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FAQs

Frequently asked questions and topics related to Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) are included here.

What is Cricket Valley Energy Center?

CVEC is a fully permitted 1,100 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, electric generating plant now operational in Dover, New York. The natural gas-fired facility uses state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible combustion turbine technology, and is among the most efficient energy producers in New York, generating enough electricity to power nearly one million homes.

Will I see it? Hear it? Smell it?

Visual: A natural buffer of existing trees and the topography of the site reduces the visual impact of the CVEC facility.

Noise: Modern natural gas-fired power plants are surprisingly quiet. The facility meets the local noise ordinance of 50 decibels at the property line – the same as quiet conversation or rainfall.

Smell: There are no smells associated with operations.

Is this plant safe?

Yes. The facility includes 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. To learn more about the plant’s safety measures, click here.

What are the benefits?

Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is a fully permitted $1.58 billion, privately-financed facility with significant benefits to the Dover community and Dutchess County. It created up to 1,100 local construction jobs with annual salaries totaling $80 million, and up to 28 direct permanent positions, with a combined $3.4 million in annual salaries during operation. In addition to new jobs, CVEC will stimulate the local economy with the purchase of locally-sourced materials and services. CVEC will add up to $4 million in taxes to the school system, the Town of Dover, and Dutchess County.

Where does the facility get water for operations?

The Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) facility obtains water from deep underground wells in order to prevent an impact on the Swamp River and surface aquifer. The plant utilizes 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 is released to the area surrounding the site. Also, a stormwater management plan, including native landscaping and collection raingardens, minimizes runoff from rainfall. For more information on water quality, click here.

What comes out of the stacks?

Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) uses 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). To learn more about how CVEC has mitigated impacts to air quality, click here or view our fact sheet on air quality.

Where does the electricity go?

The electricity produced at CVEC feeds into the existing transmission corridor immediately adjacent to the site. As part of its permitting process, CVEC was 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 plays 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?

CVEC strengthens the value of the Dover community through increased tax revenue, job creation, and ongoing support for local organizations, businesses, and schools. To learn more about the community benefits of CVEC, click here

Where does the natural gas originate?

CVEC uses 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 helps the U.S. achieve energy independence.

Who is Advanced Power?

CVEC 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?

CVEC 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 does 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 complies 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. To learn more about how CVEC has mitigated impacts to health and air quality, click here or view our fact sheet on air quality.

Will the project use “fracked” natural gas?

The project receives 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 is the same natural gas used by homes, businesses, and other industrial users in the area.

Do the units burn diesel?

No, the turbine’s only source of fuel is clean burning natural gas. In addition, during start-up of the unit, very large electric motors are used in lieu of diesel generators.