North Bergen Liberty Generating Station (NBLGS) aka Meadowlands Power Plant (North Bergen)
Grassroots opposition to this project is lead by the Don’t Gas the Meadowlands Coalition.
A subsidiary of Mitsubishi has proposed to build a $1.5B, 1,200-MW gas-fired power plant in North Bergen, NJ near Railroad Avenue on the banks of Bellman’s Creek. The electricity would be transmitted under the Hudson River to connect with a ConEd substation in Manhattan. All of the electricity would be used in New York. Neither PSE&G nor PJM Interconnect has asked for this plant to be built to meet demands for electricity in NJ.
The NJDEP, during the Murphy administration has already approved the following permits: Waterfront Development, Flood Hazard, Wetlands and Water Quality Certificate. On March 29th, 2018 the company applied with NJDEP for five additional permits. On July 14, 2017 the company applied for an air permit from the NJDEP. Given the scope of the project and the extent of the permits needed, the earliest the proposed plant could be approved is sometime in 2019.
The owners of the proposed gas-fired plant have stated this is being built to replace the energy that will be lost when the Indian Point Nuclear Plant is closed. However, a 2017 study by Hudson Riverkeeper and the Natural Resources Defense Council states, ”By 2023, assumed new energy efficiency and required new renewable energy [will] provide as much output as IPEC would have produced. The New York Independent System Operator has also stated “there will not be a system reliability need” following deactivation of Indian Point-2 and -3 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, “assuming that sufficient replacement sources of power are added within the Lower Hudson Valley.” This plant has not been requested by any NJ electric utility or PJM Interconnect.
This plant would be one of the largest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey. It will emit 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year and hundreds of tons of pollutants annually including particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to health-harming ozone production. While the DEP has not released an estimate of the additional ground level ozone that would be produced the plant is about one mile from an existing PSE&G plant that produces similar emissions and would be in an area that already receives a grade of ‘F’ from the American Lung Association for its ozone levels. The plant would expose local residents and the environment to toxic air pollutants, put public health at risk, damage a crucial ecological resource, and halt progress on the region’s clean energy and climate mitigation objectives.
As stated in the description of the Rivervale South to Market project, the Rivervale South to Market project will only provide 50,000 dt/day (50M cf/day) of firm transportation service from the Rivervale Interconnect to Transco’s Central Manhattan Meter Station in Hudson County, New Jersey. The Meadowlands power plant will require approximately 110M cf/day. Williams’ description of the project states it will serve residential and business customers in the Northeast US. Thus it is not clear how much of the power plant’s gas will come from the Rivervale project.
The plant will emit the following GHG’s/year: 3.5 MMt of CO2 and at least 73 tons of methane, although it is not clear if this methane emission is only from the combustion process (stack emissions) or takes into account the volume of methane that leak from similar plants. Taking leakage into account, the estimate of total methane emissions is 1,000 tons. The resulting CO2e emissions (based on using the 1,000 tons/year estimate for methane) are 3.59 MMt of GHG emissions per year.
The Murphy Administration can stop this plant by not approving the air quality permit, using its authority to regulate and limit GHGs and end the practice of allowing applicants to purchase ozone credits.