Thursday, March 01, 2001

Power plant issues to be aired


Some Erlanger residents wary of location, noise

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ERLANGER — Some citizens here have questions about a proposed “mini-power plant” for a site near Crestview Hills.

        They can get those questions answered Monday at a public hearing being held for Northern Kentuckians concerned about the new plant.

[photo] Cinergy proposes to build two natural gas-fired turbine engines at this plant to produce electricity for periods of high usage.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        If an air-quality permit being sought by Cinergy Capital and Trading is granted, the way will be cleared for construction of a $40 million to $50 million peaking station. It's designed to boost the supply of electrical power during periods of high usage, said Cinergy spokesman Dave Woodburn. Construction would start in the fall, and the plant would begin producing power in June 2002.

        Crestview Hills had requested the public hearing after dozens of residents expressed concerns about noise, pollution, zoning, and the plant's proximity to 165 homes in the Old Crestview area.

        “We need this type of peaker plant,” said Crestview Hills Administrator Kevin Celarek. “But we need it in the proper location where the zoning is appropriate, and it's not near residential locations.”

        Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier, citing “realistic health and safety concerns,” called for residents to attend Monday's public hearing by the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, and speak out against the plant.

IF YOU GO
    • What: Public hearing on air-quality permit, clearing the way for construction of a mini power plant at 3000 Erlanger-Crescent Springs Road.
    • When: 6:30 p.m. Monday.     • Where: Dixie Heights High School, 3010 Dixie Highway, Edgewood.
    • Issues: The public can address whether the Kentucky Division for Air Quality has met all the regulatory requirements for the proposed plant, required adequate controls for it, and adequately considered its impact on nearby residents' health.
    • What it is: The peaking station is designed to boost the supply of electrical power during periods of peak use. Any energy generated would be sold on the wholesale market for profit and also would serve Northern Kentucky.
    • Who would pay: None of the facility's costs would be passed on to Cinergy customers.
    • Number of pending applications in the United States for peaking stations: 91.
        Cinergy Capital and Trading Inc., an affiliate of Cinergy Corp., wants to build and operate two natural gas-fired turbine engines in front of Cinergy's gas plant and electric substation at 3000 Erlanger-Crescent Springs Road. The mini-power plant, or peaking station, would be near the Baptist Village assisted-living complex and the proposed site of the Kenton County Public Library's Erlanger branch.

        The city of Erlanger and the Erlanger-Elsmere school system stand to realize about $200,000 in franchise taxes from the project.

        “Even though the additional taxes are always nice, our position is (the proposed plant would be) on Cinergy's property, and they have a similar use there already,” said Erlanger Administrator Bill Scheyer. “We feel that Cinergy has been forthcoming with our community, and we see no reason to oppose it.”

        The peaking station would operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays May 1 through Oct. 1, Mr. Woodburn said. Any energy generated would be sold on the wholesale market, and would also serve Northern Kentucky.

        Built throughout the country in recent years, peaking stations would help prevent situations such as the recent power outages in California.

        Mr. Meier said he and the Crestview Hills City Council oppose the plant because:

map
        • The site is too close to a community that includes 165 homes and hundreds of people.

        • The site is zoned for less intensive industrial use, and the proposed plant would not meet current zoning regulations. The plant would be exempt from Erlanger zoning regulations because it is governed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

        • The proposed plant would generate about 55 decibels of a continuous humming sound in an area where noise levels already are excessive.

        • Normal prevailing winds would blow plant air pollution into the Old Crestview area.

        The air-quality permit Cinergy Capital and Trading is seeking would limit nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions to 245 tons a year.
       
       



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