Caithness Long Island Energy Center's 350 MW combined-cycle facility was the first major baseload power plant built on Long Island in over thirty years. Because of the significant advances that have been made in power plant technology, the CLIEC facility:
- is cleaner;
- more efficient;
- more reliable, and
- uses far less water than plants with older technology.
In June of 2011, the CLIEC was awarded the Vision Long Island Smart Growth Award for Clean Energy. To view the Vision Long Island video presentation, please click here.
Key Environmental Characteristics
The project is centrally-located within an industrial area in the town of Brookhaven. The site is surrounded by industrial properties in every direction. There are less than half a dozen residences within a three-quarter mile radius of the project site, far less than for any other baseload power project on Long Island.
The cleanest plant on Long Island, the CLIEC produces 94 percent fewer pollutant emissions and 36 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to older baseload generating units on Long Island. The benefit to the environment is that 10 million tons less greenhouse gas will enter the atmosphere over the expected life of the plant. Ongoing, minute-by-minute monitoring, using state-of-the-art control systems, ensures that Caithness conforms to all rigorous emissions standards set by the EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Combined-cycle generation systems recycle heat that would otherwise have been lost up the stack and instead use it to generate more power, making the process very efficient in the use of fuel. As a result, fuel consumption is reduced by about one-third, fuel costs are substantially lower, and air emissions and the production of greenhouse gases are greatly reduced.
The CLIEC is also the first large power plant on Long Island to employ a closed-cycle, air-cooled condenser in its steam cycle. As a consequence, the plant uses 95 percent less water than other plants on Long Island that employ evaporative cooling systems, saving the extraction of water from Long Island's aquifers by billions of gallons each year.