Freeport Gas and Electric Transmission Lines Completed: New Power Plant 2 Combustion Turbine Project Proceeds to Test Firing
(Freeport, New York, February 24, 2004) - Construction of the new combustion turbine project at Freeport Power Plant 2 is coming close to completion. With the gas supply line connected to the KeySpan distribution system, and the electric transmission line connected to LIPA, the new generation project has moved to test firing - all leading to scheduled commercial operations April 1.
Construction activities on the gas and electrical connections were initiated in August 2003. These activities have been completed and over the past week, the gas line to the new Freeport combustion turbine was "gassed up", a process where air was purged from the line to permit gas delivery to the power plant site and test firing to begin. Limited activities associated with the installation of the gas and electric lines will be completed as warm weather is reestablished, such as placement of permanent pavement and final seeding in disrupted grass areas.
The new natural gas underground pipeline and the electric interconnect were constructed in a common trench starting from the property of the Village's Plant No. 2. The trench for the 12-inch diameter gas pipeline and the electric transmission line run north from Power Plant 2 on Albany Avenue across Sunrise Highway and Meadowbrook Parkway. The route proceeds east along the property south of the LIRR and north of Sunrise Highway to Babylon Turnpike. At Babylon Turnpike the gas line turns north on Babylon Turnpike to the KeySpan gas facility at Meadowbrook Road while the electric transmission interconnect continues east through the Merrick LIRR parking lot to approximately 350 feet east of Newbridge Road where it turns north under the LIRR tracks and enters the LIPA substation.
"Significant efforts were made to minimize disruption to the community through the design and construction process," stated Hubert Bianco, Superintendent of Electric Utilities. "As much as possible, a construction method called directional drilling avoided open cutting Sunrise Highway, Merrick Avenue and Hewlett Avenue. This method was implemented except for a very limited area near the Meadowbrook Parkway overpass abutments." Mr. Bianco noted, "The community may have noticed certain lane closures associated with staging equipment and creating safe work zones for the construction workers."
"Work in the Merrick LIRR parking lot was scheduled as much as possible during weekends, and we provided alternate no-cost parking for Merrick commuters at the Freeport LIRR station," added Mr. Bianco.
These same gas and electric transmission lines will also serve a second new 44 MW combustion turbine that will supply electricity to the LIPA service region. This additional combustion turbine is expected to start construction this spring, but will not require any further roadway disruptions.