NEW YORK, April 7 New York State on Tuesday
approved the second phase of the 1,240-megawatt Astoria natural
gas-fired energy project in Queens, the New York State Public
Service Commission said in a release.
The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and
the Environment approved amendments to Astoria Energy LLC's
certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to
The siting board first granted a certificate to Astoria
Energy in November 2001 to build and operate a 1,000 MW natural
gas fired power plant in Queens.
In March 2004, the siting board agreed to allow Astoria
Energy to build the plant in two phases. The first phase went
on line in May 2006.
In November 2008, Astoria Energy asked to amend the
certificate to boost the capacity to 1,240 MW from 1,000 MW and
transfer the license to Astoria Energy and Astoria Energy II
jointly, among other things.
The siting board determined the proposed up-rate would not
result in any material increase in environmental impact since
the increased output comes from a higher steam turbine capacity
and not any significantly higher amount of fuel combustion or
In May 2008, Paris-based energy company GDF Suez SA
GSZ.PA bought a 30.45 percent equity interest in Astoria
Energy from SCS Energy. The companies did not disclose what GDF
Suez paid for the stake.
The purchase was for SCS Energy's entire share in the
plant. SCS developed the project.
GDF Suez operates and manages the plant for its owners.
New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc (ED.N) buys
500 MW of energy and capacity from Astoria under a long-term
power purchase agreement.
Astoria Energy has said it plans to build the second phase
of the project on the site by the summer of 2011. The New York
Power Authority has agreed to buy power from the second unit
under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
All of the owners have the option to participate in the
second unit. Suez has said in the past it plans to
The other owners have included two Energy Investors Funds,
Canadian investment fund Caisse de Depot et Place du Quebec
(CDPQ), Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc
(SNC.TO) of Montreal, and New York real estate developer Morris
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino)