N.Y. Power Authority 'Green Machine' Dedicated; Will Light NYPD'S Central Park Precinct

Apr 20, 1999, 01:00 ET from New York Power Authority

    NEW YORK, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York Power Authority (NYPA)
 added a novel touch of green to the Central Park landscape Tuesday when it
 dedicated a fuel cell power plant that will produce virtually pollution-free
 electricity while solving a major problem for the police station in the park.
     Joining NYPA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer C.D. "Rapp" Rappleyea in
 unveiling the 200-kilowatt (kw) unit -- painted "Central Park green" -- were
 Robert W. Gee, assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of
 Energy (DOE); Police Commissioner Howard Safir; and other city, police and
 community officials.
     "This project will help the New York Power Authority meet two of Governor
 [George E.] Pataki's top priorities -- to protect the environment and cut the
 cost of government," Rappleyea said during ceremonies at the police station on
 the road that crosses the park at 86th Street.
     The fuel cell will meet the electricity needs of the 128-year-old police
 station, which at times hasn't had enough power to run all of the computers,
 copiers and office fixtures essential to police work. It will permit
 installation of sophisticated electronic booking equipment, and will end the
 need to shut off the air conditioning for lack of power on some hot summer
     Rappleyea noted that the "green machine" -- dedicated two days before
 Earth Day -- will cut emissions of gases tied to global warming, acid rain and
 other environmental threats and will  avoid the $1.2 million cost of providing
 an upgraded power line to the police station.
     Commissioner Safir said, "The expenses associated with running additional
 power through Central Park into a precinct built in 1871 would have been
 prohibitive if not for NYPA's assistance. The solution, an environmentally
 clean fuel cell power plant, will not only allow the precinct to conduct its
 normal business, but will take us well into the next century without any
 foreseeable problems."
     Assistant Secretary Gee said, "The installation of this fuel cell, in this
 setting, reflects the commitment of the New York Power Authority and the city
 to protecting the quality of our environment -- not only for those who enjoy
 the park today, but for future generations. It also reflects their commitment
 to be modern-day pioneers -- to be among the first in this nation to adopt an
 emerging technology."
     In addition to serving the police station -- which was originally the
 Central Park Stable -- the fuel cell will supply electricity for an adjacent
 charging facility to power quiet, non-polluting electric vehicles to be used
 by police patrols. NYPA has obtained a three-wheeled electric vehicle for the
 precinct, with another to come, and is working with the Police Department and
 the Central Park Conservancy to help arrange and fund the leasing of four
 electric patrol cars.
     "The fuel cell and the electric vehicle charging provide a double benefit
 for the environment -- emission-free vehicles running on clean power,"
 Rappleyea said.  "By any standards, this project's environmental credentials
 are impeccable."
     Long-term plans also call for the fuel cell, installed in the police
 station's parking lot, to provide heat for the building.
     The 10-foot-high fuel cell, manufactured by ONSI Corp. of South Windsor,
 Conn., a subsidiary of United Technologies, is powered by natural gas and
 produces electricity through a chemical reaction, rather than combustion. The
 natural gas is processed to form hydrogen, which combines with oxygen in the
 air to produce electricity, heat and water. Not only are emissions negligible,
 but noise levels are about the same as from a window air conditioner.
     ONSI President Robert Suttmiller said, "The fuel cell operating at 200 kw
 for 8,400 hours per year will reduce carbon dioxide by 1,100 tons, and other
 air pollutants by 40,000 pounds,  compared with electricity generated from
 average combustion-based processes in the U. S."
     NYPA installed the fuel cell as part of its long-term energy supply
 agreement with the city. Rappleyea noted that low-cost NYPA electricity powers
 the city's public buildings, schools, street lights and subway and commuter
 trains, with annual savings to taxpayers and train riders of more than $250
 million. In addition, he said, NYPA power supplied under Governor Pataki's
 Power for Jobs program and other initiatives helps to protect more than
 135,000 jobs at businesses and non-profit institutions throughout the city.
     Other New York Power Authority projects in the city range from a High
 Efficiency Lighting Program (HELP) that will save taxpayers $25 million a year
 to implementation of the governor's program to replace coal-burning furnaces
 in public schools.
     NYPA is preparing to install another fuel cell at North Central Bronx
 Hospital. It currently operates a 200-kw fuel cell at the Westchester County
 Wastewater Treatment Plant in Yonkers -- the first in the Western Hemisphere
 to run on anaerobic digester gas produced during sewage treatment.  Each of
 these projects has received a DOE grant.

SOURCE New York Power Authority