Mitsubishi subsidiary seeks permits for $1.5B gas plant to send power to NYC
Diamond Generating, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi, is seeking environmental approval for a proposed 1,200 MW gas-fired power plant in New Jersey.
The $1.5 billion project, proposed for New Jersey’s Meadowlands, would export power under the Hudson River to New York.
- The area sited for the project is a wetlands that hosts a major sports and entertainment complex and is close to major markets for electricity, but is also environmentally sensitive.
The North Bergen Liberty Generating project is sited on a 15-acre industrial lot being used by a demolition company that is already zoned for a power plant. Plant developer Diamond Generating is seeking permits from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for the project, but is likely to face opposition from environmental groups.
The New Jersey Meadowlands is an environmentally sensitive area that is flood prone and in the process of being cleaned up. “Why add pollution to an area that already has a lot of pollution, Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, told Utility Dive. “We get the pollution, and New York City gets the power.”
In a press release, North Bergen Liberty Generating, the project company, said the proposed plant would fill the gap left by the anticipated closure of the 2,000 MW Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, N.Y. The proposed plant would also displace older, less efficient fossil fuel plants in the region and “create a significant reduction in regional greenhouse gas emissions emitted from current electric generating plants,” according to the release, which also noted that the proposed plant would be 34% more efficient than the average existing power plant serving New York City.
The cross border project is not a new concept. About 15 years ago, Public Service Enterprise Group proposed a cross Hudson transmission project that would link its large Bergen gas-fired plant to the New York power market.
Liberty Energy is a sister company of North Bergen Liberty Energy Center. Liberty Energy's website says that its affiliate, Cavallo Energy, purchased the Cross Hudson Cable project from PSEG in December 2006. The company entered into a $225 million turnkey contract for the project, but it was abandoned in 2012 because of the financial crisis. The project has now morphed into Diamond Generating’s North Bergen project.
It's unclear if the $1.5 billion price tag of the North Bergen Liberty project includes development of a transmission line to New York. But the cost appears to be too low to include development of a transmission line, as well as a power plant, one industry expert said.
A request for clarification from Diamond Generating on the cost of the plant and potential transmission line were not returned by press time.
Follow Peter Maloney on Twitter