Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ravenswood Keyspan Generating Station

The Ravenswood Keyspan Generating Station is a power plant located on the north west section of Queens, across the East River from Roosevelt Island. The area, notoriously known as "Asthma Alley" by environmentalists, is also home to Queensbridge Houses, a huge public housing project in Long Island City.

The seemingly harmless and beautiful chimneys in the photo expel exhaust fumes containing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matters, which have been linked to severe respiratory problems in children and adults. The 60 year old power plant is one of the reasons why New York City is known as the asthma capital of America.

Unfortunately, the power plant is a necessary evil because it generates over a quarter of the electricity consumed in New York City. Without it, many people would not have electricity for their homes.

15 comments:

Z said...

Quite possibly, if the owners of the power plant had wanted to (or if they had been forced by law) they would have put in scrubbers and filters to reduce their emissions. My 2 rappens.

Dsole said...

Nice shot, Ming... I'm wonder if that station is placed next to a park... is that a park?

Keropok Man said...

at first glance, i tot those chimneys have darken the skies.

hmm maybe it does contribute to it :-O

Ming_the_Merciless said...

z - I'm the federal and/or state government requires some sort of filtering system but it will never get rid of the pollution 100%.

dsole - Yes, that is a park next to the power plant. Ironic, isn't it?

keropokman - There were no smoke coming out since it was taken on a Sunday afternoon.

Kuanyin said...

Oh...total Yuk! Good shot though!

Annie said...

It's true, there's often bad that comes with the good. Asthma is pretty bad!

Nikon said...

I've seen this plant from Roosevelt Island - isn't there another coal (or oil) -fired plant up the East Side near the UN?
And speaking of this plant, wasn't there a big clock set into some wharehouse near it? Some famous nationwide company - can't think of it - Campbell's Soup?

Nikon said...

I think it was the Colgate co. clock - & it has been moved to the Jersey City waterfront.

tigerfish said...

Hmm..sure looks polluted.

Per Stromsjo said...

Fortunately a growing number of countries, yours included, is reconsidering nuclear power. It'll take a while before we get there as well; our present government is divided on the issue.

Z said...

I didn't phrase myself well earlier. I wanted to say that it might have been possible to reduce whatever emissions that they were producing. A little Google search brought up a report in the 2003 Queens Gazette where a rep for KeySpan is quoted as saying that they're modifying their generators to reduce their emissions. It is possible that the technology didn't exist decades earlier, it's also possible that they chose not to go the more expensive route before. I'll end by saying that I know it isn't only this generating station that contributes to the pollution, there are other plants in that area, plus things like airports and so on. Anyway, your photo with the grey clouds does make it look a little sinister to me :-)

TCho said...

this always reminds me from that scene from Conspiracy Theory.

RI 360 said...

The plant by the United Nations was shut down and dismantled. A luxury complex of apartment buildings and offices will rise there. That leaves the Ravenswood plant and the one at 14th Street more important to the City for the power generated.

John said...

Surprisingly, according to EPA's "eGRID" database, Ravenswood releases some of the fewest greenhouse gases of all large power plants in the nation, per kilowatt-hour generated. It uses its waste heat to produce steam for district heating, thus on top of its 32.1% mechanical efficiency for generating electricity, it captures another 47.5% of its waste heat, giving an overall efficiency of 79.6% -- which is extraordinarily high for a plant of its size. In terms of other pollutants, it is not that bad, emitting 1.54 lbs/MWh of NOx, and 2.21 lbs/MWh of SO(2). Note that the NOx value is fairly good but less than stellar, while the sulfur dioxide value is actually quite low when compared to many "dirty" plants in the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

TransCanada buys New York generating station for $2.8B!