FAQ: What you need to know about Cricket Valley Energy Center
Cricket Valley Energy Center is being constructed just over the state line on a 193-acre lot in Dover Plains, N.Y. Here’s what you need to know about the natural-gas powered plant:
How much power will it generate?
The plant is expected to produce 1,100 megawatts once it comes online in 2020.
Who owns the plant?
Cricket Valley Energy Center is an affiliate of Advanced Power Services, an energy-development company based in Boston, Mass. Their international affiliate is Advanced Power AG, which has 7,000 megawatts of power in the U.S. and Europe.
What is the controversy?
Opponents of the plant worry the plant will produce toxins that will pollute the air and harm their health. They also worry the topography of the area will trap the chemicals the plant emits. Some of the emissions are nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, but all will be below federal and state limits, according to a previous report.
Advocates of the plant say this type of technology is needed because it replaces dirtier, coal-power plants. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials have also said this renewable energy industry isn’t able to store excess solar or wind energy to power the grid when those resources aren’t available. They also said the projection models, which are required by New York and the Environmental Protection Agency, show the biggest effects will be southwest of the plant in New York.
When did this happen?
The plant was proposed in 2009 and approved in 2012 by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Construction began in summer 2017.
How is Connecticut involved with a New York project?
In short, it’s not. New York approved the project and the power generated goes into the New York power grid. Because it is a New York project, many Connecticut residents who live a few miles from the plant said they didn’t learn of it until the project was already approved. DEEP was informed and the Housatonic Valley Association participated in some of the advisory working groups for the project. Cricket Valley also launched a project website, opened a community outreach office, held open houses and put out newsletters on topics including air quality.
The only thing Connecticut can do now is monitor the air levels to ensure the air doesn’t worsen, preventing the state from meeting its air standards. Residents have installed an air monitoring station in Kent to do this.
DEEP officials have said Connecticut and New York have the same permitting process and are among the most stringent requirements because the Northeast’s air quality is harmed by plants west of the region. Connecticut and New York are also co-plaintiffs in several lawsuits advocating for clean air and restrictions on plants in other states.