NRG Energy Sells Astoria Power Plant to Offshore Wind Company for $216M
By Celia Young January 12, 2023 1:41 pmreprints
Offshore wind developer Beacon Wind Land closed on a deal to buy an Astoria, Queens, power plant from NRG Energy for $215.5 million, with plans to use the site to connect one of its massive wind projects with New York’s electrical grid, according to property records made public Thursday.
The Jan. 6 sale follows a monthslong debate over the future of the fossil fuel-powered plant at 31-01 20th Avenue, which NRG first looked to offload in September, Politico reported.
The planned interconnection hub will link the Consolidated Edison grid with Beacon Wind 1, Beacon’s 1,230-megawatt under-construction project in the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles east of Montauk, N.Y., when it’s completed in 2028, according to plans Beacon filed with the state last year.
“Pending New York Public Service Commission approval, this purchase will provide the Beacon Wind project with a location to support the future development of the project and will help deliver homegrown, renewable energy to New York City and the surrounding regions,” a Beacon spokesperson said in a statement.
NRG is leasing the land back from Beacon to keep its plant up and running until May, when NRG will demolish it, according to a spokesperson for NRG.
Initially, NRG planned to replace the plant with a natural gas-fired generator to comply with New York’s recently passed climate laws, but the proposal sparked anger from advocates and elected officials who argued for renewable energy alternatives, Patch reported.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) struck down NRG’s proposal in October 2021, arguing it would exceed New York’s greenhouse gas emission limits, according to Patch and a representative for the NYSDEC.
NRG purchased the property from Con Edison in 1999 and took out roughly $381 million in debt from Deutsche Bank on the site at the corner of 15th Avenue and 26th Street in 2021, according to the New York Times and property records.
A representative for Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Celia Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.