An application by National Grid to construct two 20,000-gallon fiberglass water tanks at its East Hampton generating station at Cove Hollow Road, did not have enough information for the East Hampton Town Planning Board to vote on it at their July 27 meeting.
In May 2023, new nitrogen oxide emissions regulations will take effect, requiring that gas turbines used to generate electricity run cleaner. National Grid seeks to inject demineralized water into its turbines, which, said Wendy Frigeria, a spokeswoman, “will reduce emissions from the unit.”
“The water mixed with the fuel reduces the flame temperature and therefore reduces the emissions,” she told The Star in an email.
National Grid’s website says it generates electricity by burning gas, which creates heat to power a turbine. “The rotation of this turbine spins a generator, which creates electricity.”
In addition to the water tanks, a 180-square-foot equipment building is necessary to house a water pump, piping, and associated controls.
Jean Galante, a land planner speaking for National Grid, explained to the planning board that water would enter a “portable water-demineralizer trailer” which would remove minerals before the water enters the storage tanks. From the tanks, the water would enter the equipment building, before being mixed with the fuel.
The board noted that while the property is large, 17.6 acres, and has been in use by National Grid since the 1960s, residents could be concerned with lights and noise from the project.
“Is there wastewater from the process?” asked Randy Parsons, a board member.
“I don’t know,” said Ms. Galante.
“It’s also a special groundwater protection area,” said Samuel Kramer, board chairman.
Mr. Parsons wondered about the demineralization process. “Something happens to the minerals,” he said.
“How are those minerals disposed? What happens to it?” asked Mr. Kramer. Ms. Galante didn’t have that information either.
Ed Krug, a board member, said that while the board must deal with the application at hand, “This is also going to be the site where the cable from the offshore wind turbines connects to the grid. It would be nice to have some sense for what else is coming down the pike on this site.”
“It’s worth mentioning,” said Mr. Kramer, “but this is a discrete application, separate from anything else that’s coming up.”
Ms. Galante agreed to get more information about the position of the demineralization trailer, and about how the process would reduce emissions. The board deemed it too early to discuss whether a public hearing was necessary until all the information comes in.