NY approves proposed $1.4 bln Cricket Valley power plant

Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:02pm EST

Feb 13 (Reuters) - New York utility regulators on Wednesday approved the proposed 1,000-megawatt (MW) Cricket Valley natural gas-fired power plant in Dutchess County expected to cost about $1.4 billion.

In a statement, the New York Public Service Commission said the plant would connect with New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc's 345-kilovolt transmission lines near the plant's property.

An affiliate of the Advanced Power Services unit of privately-held Swiss power generator Advanced Power AG wants to build the plant in the town of Dover about 80 miles (128 km) north of New York City on a 193-acre industrial site that includes a natural gas pipeline.

Advanced Power Services told state regulators the project would create about 300 jobs to build the plant and 28 permanent jobs once it enters service. They said construction could start in 2014.

Officials at the plant were not immediately available to comment on what else they needed to complete before building the project.

In addition to Advanced Power Services, Marubeni Power International, a unit of Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp , owns a 20 percent interest in Cricket Valley.

Advanced Power and General Electric Co's GE Energy unit have entered into an agreement to develop the plant.

GE will supply its 7FA gas turbines and the steam turbines for the project. GE said it will manufacture the steam turbine and generators in Schenectady, New York, and the gas turbines in Greenville, South Carolina.

INDIAN POINT REPLACEMENT?

The developers said the plant would fit in with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Energy Highway plan to modernize the state's energy infrastructure and replace some of the power now generated at the giant Indian Point nuclear plant.

The 2,063-MW Indian Point produces about a quarter of the power used in New York City.

Cuomo and others want the two reactors at Indian Point to shut when their federal operating licenses expire in 2013 and 2015 because the plant is located within the heavily populated New York metro area, which is home to about 20 million people.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which regulates the nation's nuclear power plants, says Indian Point is safe.

U.S. power company Entergy Corp, which owns Indian Point, is seeking new 20-year operating licenses from the NRC for the Indian Point reactors.