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Petition No. 746
CMEEC
Falls Avenue, Hollyhock Island, Norwich
Staff Report
November 17, 2005

On November 8, 2005, the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) submitted a petition (Petition) to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a declaratory ruling that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required for the proposed installation of a 2 MW emergency generator at the City of Norwich wastewater treatment facility on Hollyhock Island in Norwich.

This Petition was field reviewed by Council member Jerry Murphy and Michael Perrone of the Council staff on November 10, 2005. Also present at the field review were Mark Greene, Utility Engineer, Norwich Public Utilities; Phil Sussler, General Counsel, CMEEC; and Gabriel Stern, Director of Planning and Project Development, CMEEC.

The emergency generator is being proposed pursuant to ISO-New England’s (ISO-NE) Demand Response Winter Supplemental program. This program seeks to secure up to 450 MW of demand-side or generator resources for this coming winter to respond to concerns about region-wide reliability due to fuel supply issues raised by the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

The proposed generator would be diesel and have a power output of 2 MW. The generator itself would have zero visual impact as it would be located inside a building at the wastewater treatment plant. However, the exhaust stack would be attached to the side of the building and would have a maximum height of 30’. (The exact height of the stack is being calculated by the engineers, but the applicant has advised staff that 30’ is the maximum worst-case height.) The stack would be 16" in diameter and would rise to about 13’ higher than the building. The generator is air-cooled and requires no outside water source.

The generator would produce electricity at the distribution voltage of 13.8 kV, which eliminates the need for a transformer. A wooden utility pole would be installed next to the building and the wires would travel overhead to an existing pole to connect to the distribution system.

The generator would have an outside 4,000 gallon fuel tank. The tank is double-walled for containment purposes. The tank would be installed on a concrete pad adjacent to the building.

Hollyhock Island is currently used for commercial and industrial purposes. In addition to the wastewater treatment plant, there is a sheet metal business, a boat yard, and boat storage facility on the island. The nearest residence is located across the Yantic River at a distance of about 750 feet to the northeast of the proposed location of the generator.

The nearest residence is located at an elevation that is significantly higher than that of the wastewater treatment facility. This is expected to reduce the visual impact of the stack, as the residence literally is looking down on the facility. In addition, trees are located on both sides of the river and are expected to minimize the visual impact of the fuel tank. The noise level at the nearest residence would be less than the daytime and nighttime limits required by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The wastewater treatment facility is secured with fencing. As such, the generator would only be accessible by qualified personnel. In addition, the City Fire Marshall has reviewed the project and has no concerns relative to fire safety or codes.

Initially, the proposed generating unit would be permitted under the DEP regulations as an emergency generator authorized to operate under ISO-NE Operating Procedure 4 (OP-4), Step 12. A new source review application has been filed with DEP, and approval is anticipated on or before June 1, 2006. If granted, this permit would limit operation of the unit to less than 500 hours per year, but would allow operation of the unit during other critical periods in addition to OP-4.