Estimating the Air Emissions of Stationary Engine Generators under Two Megawatts
The provision of electric power to homes, businesses and industry via distributed generation (“DG”)2 technologies has increased at a rapid pace over the last 10 to 15 years. New York has made the development of a distributed energy future a centerpiece of the Governor’s path breaking “Reforming the Energy Vision” initiative. The environmental consequences of dramatic increases in distributed generation, however, have not been empirically examined. Because certain forms of DG have previously only run to a very limited extent, their emissions were not regulated closely. However, evolving markets and new rate structures could create incentives that encourage an increase in the operating hours of fossil-fired DG. In this study we have created an estimated inventory of fossil-fired distributed generators in New York State, the five counties of New York City, and Westchester County. The report demonstrates a significant data gap when comparing information available regarding the stock of smaller-sized stationary engine generators in the electronic records of the State as contrasted with this report’s estimated inventory of stationary generators based on several decades of engine sales information. By estimating the current and potential future emissions of small fossil-fired generators in New York State, we now have a benchmark for the quantity of the current emissions from these generators, and the potential impact on emissions from changes in the operation of these generators. This tool provides the gross emissions from the estimated installed generator inventory under various operating conditions, and the ability to examine numerous scenarios of generator use, regulation, or retirement across six criteria pollutants.