Vard Marine to complete design package for NYC Gowanus power barges

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Siemens released this rendering of the two Seafloat power barges earlier this year

Vancouver, B.C. headquartered Vard Marine Inc. has been contracted to complete the basic class design package of a new generation of Siemens powered SeaFloat power barges to support New York’s Gowanus Repowering Project. Working under the guidance of Stantec, the project’s engineer of record, Vard Marine will supply the barge arrangements, structural design package, marine engineering and naval architecture for the project.

The four-barge Gowanus Station in the Upper Bay of Brooklyn, New York City, with a current generation capacity of 640 MW, was originally installed in the early 1970s and is approaching the end of its service life.

Back in August, Siemens reported that it had signed a contract with Astoria Generating Company for the turnkey construction of two SeaFloat power barges to be equipped with eight Siemens SGT-A65 gas turbines that will replace the four existing power barges located at Gowanus Generating Station in the Upper Bay of Brooklyn, New York City, resulting in cleaner, more efficient energy production. The turbines will run on natural gas as their primary fuel. 

According to Siemens, retrofitting the station with SGT-A65 gas turbines and generators will improve the plants’ power generating efficiency by nearly 50 percent while significantly reducing potential emissions of pollutants like carbon dioxide and monoxide – all while using the station’s existing gas infrastructure.

“As a holistic solution, the new SeaFloat power barges will help reduce potential emissions in New York City and provide a reliable power supply by helping keep the local grid stable,” said Karim Amin, CEO of Power Generation at Siemens Gas and Power. “SeaFloat combines the advantages of our high-quality proven power plant technology with the mobility and flexibility that’s required in peak consumption periods.”

“As New York’s energy market changes to rely on intermittent power sources like wind and solar, we need to ensure reliability. These state-of-the-art units will provide the quick-start energy production New Yorkers need while reducing potential emissions. And best of all, because they’re on barges, they provide the needed climate adaptation, adjusting to sea-level rise and increased storm surges, and also can be moved if the power is needed elsewhere,” said Mark Sudbey, CEO of Astoria Generating Company. 

Vard Marine’s Houston Vice President, Darren Truelock, said, “We are very pleased to be partnered with Stantec and Siemens in such an important initiative that reduces potential emissions in New York City and provides peaking power to the city and state.”

Vard Marine’s current portfolio of floating power plants span from 40 MW to 220 MW units of both diesel and gas turbine power generation.

“We are proud to partake in the city’s strategy to leave a greener footprint and are excited to see the environmental impact the two barges will have,” Truelock added.

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