Emergency Generators – New Rules that May Affect Your Facility
Distributed generation (DG) sources are engines used to supply electricity outside that which is supplied by the electrical grid. This on-site generation of electricity by DG sources is used by a wide range of facilities either in non-emergency situations that reduce demand on the electric grid and preserve the overall reliability of the grid, or in emergency situations when the usual supply of power from central power plants becomes unavailable. Although the exact number of DG sources in New York is unknown, it has been estimated that there are more than 15,000 diesel generators alone.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has proposed new regulations that will impact DG operations at many industrial, institutional, and commercial clients in the state. A summary of the proposed rule is outlined below.
Proposed distributed generation sources Rule (6 NYCRR Part 222)
On December 23, 2015, the NYSDEC proposed a new regulation, codified at 6 NYCRR Part 222, which will serve to control NOx and PM emissions from DG sources. The proposed rule applies to DG sources located at facilities that are not major sources of NOx with a maximum output rating of:
- 200 horsepower or greater located in the New York City metropolitan area
- 400 horsepower or greater located outside the New York City metropolitan area
DG sources include emergency and non-emergency stationary combustion engines that feed into the distribution grid and/or produce electricity for use at the host facility. Engines participating in demand response programs are classified as non-emergency engines under the rule.
Summary of Proposed rule
Key highlights include the following for DG sources:
- Restrictions on operating times for maintenance and testing during the ozone season of May 1st through September 30th
- Required annual tune-ups
- Recordkeeping of operational data
In addition, for non-emergency sources only, the rule includes:
- Stringent NOx and PM emission limitations
- Initial stack testing completed by April 30, 2016 and every 10 years after
- Requirement to obtain a registration or permit for the DG source, if not already in place
- Alternative compliance options, including shutting down the source, fuel switching, applying for a source-specific higher emissions limit, and compliance extension dates for sources participating in demand response programs