Commissioner of Environmental Protection Bradley M. Campbell visited PSEG Power's Bergen Generating Station (Ridgefield/Bergen County) to join the company in congratulating the station's drought emergency response team for implementing an innovative new system that is saving about 10 million gallons of water a month.
The new system, an extension of Bergen station's pioneering use of recycled, treated wastewater for plant cooling, uses a reverse osmosis treatment process to prepare additional supplies of wastewater for use as steam makeup and other purposes. When Bergen station's two combined-cycle generating units are operating, the system saves approximately 400 gallons per minute (gpm) of city water. The system is reducing the station's city water consumption by approximately 10 million gallons a month.
Bergen Generating Station, which started out as a 650-megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant in 1959, has been redeveloped with clean, efficient natural gas fired, combined cycle technology. The 675-MW Unit 1, PSEG Power's first repowering project, went into service in 1995. Bergen 2, a 550-MW unit, started commercial operation on June 1, in time to help meet this summer's high demand for power.
The Bergen station team went to work on the reverse osmosis treatment plan in April, in response to Commissioner Campbell's call for action by industry to help the state cope with the drought emergency. The system was operational in July.
"I commend PSEG for its innovative leadership in helping to address New Jersey's ongoing drought emergency," Campbell said. "New Jersey needs to fundamentally change water stewardship practices, and the water reuse infrastructure recognized today will help us with the long-term management of the state's water resources. Thank you for raising the bar."
"The fact that the Bergen team got the system designed, approved, tested, and operating in 90 days is a significant achievement and one that we are proud to acknowledge in the presence of Commissioner Campbell," said Thomas R. Smith, PSEG Power executive vice president -- operations and development. "PSEG Power strives to meet the region's growing demand for energy in ways that are sustainable and environmentally responsible. This includes redeveloping existing power plant sites with new, cleaner and more efficient electric generating and emissions control equipment. There's no better example of the benefits of this strategy than Bergen station. It's probably fitting, given the innovations that have already taken place here, that the Bergen drought response team came up with the plan to reduce the station's use of city water and implemented that plan in record time."
The use of recycled, treated wastewater in conjunction with closed loop cooling systems at Bergen has eliminated the withdrawal and discharge of cooling water from Overpeck Creek and the Hackensack River and has allayed concerns about any potential impact on these waterways. The wastewater is piped from the Bergen County Utilities Authority to the station where it is treated and filtered, used to cool the plant, and then recycled back to the authority. PSEG Power will use a similar cooling system at the Linden Generating Station (Linden/Union County) redevelopment project now under construction.
Filtering equipment for Bergen station's cooling system and the reverse osmosis technology are supplied by USFilter.