AES Greenidge power station

From Global Energy Monitor

AES Greenidge power station was a coal-fired power station owned and operated by AES near Dresden, New York. The last coal unit was retired in 2011. The plant was converted to run on natural gas in 2016.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Greenidge Generation Holdings LLC [100%][1]
  • Parent: Atlas Holdings [100%][2][3]
  • Location: 590 Plant Rd., Dresden, New York 14441
  • Coordinates: 42.679135, -76.9483 (exact)[4]
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Gross coal generating capacity (retired): 163 MW
    • Unit 3: Coal-fired subcritical, 50 MW (start-up in 1950)
    • Unit 4: Coal-fired subcritical, 113 MW (start-up in 1953), converted to natural gas in 2016
  • Gross coal generating capacity (operating): 112 MW
    • Unit 4[4]: Natural gas and biomass fired[5] steam turbine[4], 112 MW[4] (start-up in 1953, 2016)[4][6]

Background

Originally built in 1937 by the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) to burn coal, the Greenidge power station produced coal fired electricity until its closure in 2011. Since 1999, the plant has been owned and operated by AES Corporation. At one time, the Greenidge Power consisted of six coal-fired boilers, which provided steam to power four turbine generators. The plant had a generating capacity of over 200 megawatts. In 1985, two turbine generators and three boilers were taken out of service. In 2009, another turbine and boiler were also taken out of service.

In 2011, citing high fuel costs and decreased demand for electricity, the owners, AES Greenidge, declared bankruptcy and shut down the Greenidge power station.[7][8][9] The plant was inactive from 2011 until 2017, when it was purchased by Atlas Holdings (as Greenidge Generation LLC), and converted to burn natural gas.

In 2019, after poor profitability as a gas burning facility, the plant's new owners began mining bitcoin with some of the power generated at the site. By March of 2020, the site was using 14 MW; by October of 2021, it was up to 44 MW; by the end of 2022, Greenidge hopes to be utilizing 85 of the plant's total capacity of 106 MW for bitcoin mining.[7] Greenidge has also announced plans to scale Bitcoin mining to 500 MW by 2025 by "replicat[ing] its vertically integrated mining model" with new generation sources.[10]

In August 2022, the plant was operating to plan as a cryptocurrency farm. Local opposition was increasing because of poor pollution controls on the mining operation. The plant also faced significant legacy pollution, and it was first on the list of coal ash sites that were potentially situated below the water table. Should the ash be left in place, the plant would be in violation of federal rules.[11]

Ownership

In 1999, AES purchased six power plants in New York (including the Greenidge power station) from NGE Generation, Inc. for $953 million.[12] The other stations included in the deal were AES Somerset, AES Cayuga, AES Westover, AES Hickling, and AES Jennison.[12]

In March 2011 AES announced it wanted to sell four of its New York coal plants, including Greenidge. The other plants included AES Cayuga, AES Westover and AES Somerset. [13]

In 2016, Atlas Holdings, through its subsidiary - Greenidge Generation LLC, purchased the power plant in and converted it to run on natural gas.[6]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 780,467 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:


The following table gives more info on this plant's SO2 emissions levels, as well as on whatever SO2 emissions "scrubbers" (Flue Gas Desulfurization units, or FGDs) have been installed at the plant. Each of the plant's units is listed separately, and at the bottom overall data for the plant is listed.[14][15]

Unit # Year Built Capacity MWh Produced (2005) SO2 Emissions (2005) SO2 Emissions per MWh (2005) Average Annual Coal Sulfur Content FGD Unit Type FGD In-Service Year FGD SO2 Removal Efficiency
3 1950 50 MW 223,897 MWh 4,110 tons 36.71 lb./MWh 2.14% none installed
4 1953 113 MW 665,481 MWh 10,244 tons 30.79 lb./MWh 2.03% none installed
Total 163 MW 889,378 MWh 14,354 tons 32.28 lb./MWh

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860 detailed data with previous form data (EIA-860A/860B), 2018". Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  2. "www.atlasholdingsllc.com/our-companies/greenidge/". Archived from the original on September 14, 2021.
  3. "ir.greenidge.com/stock/stock-quote-chart". Archived from the original on September 16, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (November 2019)". Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  5. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (July 2021)". Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Greenidge Generating Station - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation". Archived from the original on June 30, 2022. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "How bitcoin makes burning fossil fuels more profitable than ever". Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences. 7/11/2022. Retrieved 7/20/2022. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  8. "NYSEG Greenidge Power Plant," Dresden Mesothelioma Attorney, Aug 18, 2011
  9. "Greenidge plant goes dark in Torrey". Penn Yan Chronicle-Express. Gatehouse Media. 2011-03-24.
  10. "500 MW of Mining Capacity by the Year 2025". Bitcoin.com. 3/22/2021. Retrieved 7/20/2022. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  11. "In the Finger Lakes, a cryptocurrency mining plant billed as ‘green’ has a dirty coal ash problem" Energy News Network, August 25, 2022.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "AES completes acquistion of six power plants in New York with total capacity of 1424 MW", Business Wire via High Beam Research, May 14, 1999.
  13. "AES to sell four New York coal plants" Reuters, March, 4, 2011.
  14. Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
  15. EIA-767, Energy Information Administration, 2005.

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