Charles Poletti Power Plant, New York City, New York
The Charles Poletti Power Plant was originally known as Astoria 6 in the early days of its planning and construction. It was renamed after New York Governor Charles Poletti in 1982. Originally owned by Con Edison, it was purchased by New York Power Authority in 1974, when the plant was still under construction. The plant, which is located in Queens, New York City, was in operation from 1977 to 2010.
The Charles Poletti Power Plant had duel capability, which means could be powered by either oil or natural gas. It generated up to 885 megawatts of electricity, which was mostly used to power government projects such as schools, hospitals, and public transit in New York City. However, the plant was also a bigger polluter than newer plants in the area, and so NYPA announced plans for its closing in 2009.
Fossil Fuels and Pollution
Oil and natural gas, in addition to coal, are fossil fuels. This means that they are formed by the decomposition of organic materials over the course of millions of years. Power plants all over the world burn these materials to generate electricity. Unfortunately, there is significant concern about the environmental impact of these fuels.
One large problem is that fossil fuels release pollutants when they are burned. Although oil and natural gas are cleaner than coal, they do contribute to air and water pollution. Harmful emissions associated with these fuels include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.
Fortunately, there are steps that power plants can take to reduce their environmental impact. For example, new technology allows plant owners to carefully monitor and reduce the amount of pollution they create. In some cases, such as the Charles Poletti Power Plant, older plants are being entirely replaced by newer, more efficient plants.