The proposal to build an underground steam and electrical power plant on the Brooklyn waterfront suffered a major setback Wednesday in an Albany ruling that is raising questions among industry experts about whether it is even possible to build a new independent power plant in New York City. Two state judges ruled that TransGas Energy's most recent application should be dismissed, and reaffirmed an earlier recommendation that the state sitting board deny its earlier application to build a large, 1,100-megawatt facility on the Bayside Fuel Oil Depot site in Greenpoint. The state sitting board, made up of panelists of several state agencies, must now decide on the application.
The Bloomberg administration has aggressively opposed the power plant, saying it conflicts with the city's plans for a revitalized Brooklyn waterfront that would complement a recently rezoned swath of Greenpoint/Williamsburg, where the city envisions denser commercial and residential development. Mr. Bloomberg has dedicated funds and begun the land acquisition process to transform the heavily contaminated East River site into a 28-acre park.
However just because you don't have a power plant that still doesn't mean that we won't see forty story buildings rise up on the waterfront. But perhaps this does show that a community can have a say in what's going on. In any case I have to question the wisdom of TransGas in picking the location, when it comes to New York City even an energy company doesn't stand a chance against real estate interests.
Here is a summary of the TransGas plan for reference: