Ravenswood Generating Station

Coordinates: 40°45′35″N 73°56′45″W / 40.75972°N 73.94583°W / 40.75972; -73.94583
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(Redirected from Big Allis)

Ravenswood Generating Station
Ravenswood Generating Station in 2017
CountryUnited States
LocationLong Island City, Queens, New York City
Coordinates40°45′35″N 73°56′45″W / 40.75972°N 73.94583°W / 40.75972; -73.94583
Commission date1963 (1963)
Owner(s)L.S Power
Operator(s)IHI Power Services
Thermal power station
Primary fuelFuel Oil, Natural Gas
Secondary fuelFuel Oil, Natural Gas
Turbine technologySteam turbine, Gas turbine
Combined cycle?Yes (Unit 40)
Power generation
Units operational5
Units cancelled2 × 500 MW PWR
Nameplate capacity2,480 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Ravenswood Generating Station is a 2,480 megawatt power plant in Long Island City in Queens, New York City, New York.[1] It is owned and operated by LS Power/Helix Energy Solutions Group.[2] The plant is fueled primarily by fuel oil (no. 6) and natural gas which heats the boilers.[1]


Ravenswood was originally built and owned by Consolidated Edison of New York Inc. (Con Edison) in 1963. The first two units constructed in 1963 were Ravenswood 10 and 20, each having a generating capacity of approximately 385 megawatts. Then, in 1965, Ravenswood 30 (commonly called "Big Allis") was commissioned with a generating capacity of nearly 981 megawatts. In the 1970s, multiple combustion turbine units were installed in a simple cycle configuration to meet peak power demands. Two 2030 MWth(500 MWe) nuclear reactors were planned to begin operation on the site in 1970, but they were cancelled due to controversy and safety concerns.

Due to deregulation of the energy markets in New York State, Con Edison was required to sell all of its "in-city" generating stations in New York City including Ravenswood. In 1999, Con Edison transferred ownership of Ravenswood to KeySpan Energy for $597 million.[3] In 2004, KeySpan constructed a new unit, Ravenswood 40, using combined cycle technology with generating capacity of 250 megawatts.

National Grid plc acquired KeySpan in 2007[4] but due to its involvement in electrical transmission the New York Public Service Commission required National Grid to sell Ravenswood to ensure competition in the market. On August 26, 2008, Ravenswood was sold by National Grid to TransCanada Corporation for $2.9 billion.[5] TransCanada later sold Ravenswood to LS Power/Helix Energy Solutions Group in a package deal also including the Ironwood, Ocean State and Kibby Wind facilities for a total price of US$2.1 Billion.[6][7][8] In 2018, Helix Generation LLC filed a lawsuit against TransCanada Facility USA Inc. for allegedly fraudulently misleading Helix prior to the sale.[9]

In 2019, it was announced that a 316 MW battery storage system would be built at the Ravenswood Generating Station. The system would be the largest in New York state and would be built in three phases, the first of which would be complete in 2021.[10]


Ravenswood is located in Long Island City in Queens, New York, across from Roosevelt Island. The site is connected to the New York City electrical system through the 138 kV Vernon substation and the 345 kV Rainey substation.[11] It is capable of producing 2,480 MW of energy.[1]

Unit Approximate Power First Operated[1] Power Source[2]
10 380 MW[11] 1963 No.6 Fuel (Primary fuel) / Natural Gas (Secondary Fuel)
20 280 MW[11] 1963 No.6 Fuel (Primary fuel) / Natural Gas (Secondary Fuel)
30 990 MW[11] 1965 No.6 Fuel (Primary fuel) / Natural Gas (Secondary Fuel)
40 250 MW[12] 2004 Natural Gas (Primary Fuel) / No.2 Fuel (Secondary)
Peaking Gas Turbines 400 MW[11] Various Natural Gas

Ravenswood No. 3[edit]

Ravenswood No. 3, also known as Unit 30 or Big Allis, is a natural gas facility at Ravenswood Generating Station owned by LS Power and operated by IHI Corporation Energy Services. During 1963, Allis-Chalmers announced that ConEd had ordered the "world's first MILLION-KILOWATT unit...big enough to serve 3,000,000 people." This sheer scale helped the plant become popularly known as "Big Allis", due to Allis-Chalmers' role in construction. During the Northeast blackout of 1965, the bearings of the Allis-Chalmers Turbine were damaged. The lube oil pumps were hooked up to the electrical grid and thus shut down during the blackout, causing bearing damage.[13][14]

At the time of its installation, it was the world's largest steam energy generating facility. It is located on the Ravenswood site, consisting of Units 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as several small gas turbines (GTs), and an oil depot. The site overall produces about 2,500 MW, or approximately 20% of New York City's current energy consumption.[15][16] In 2011, Big Allis burned 97% natural gas, 3% oil (used as backup fuels).

The site also includes a steam generation plant consisting of four Babcock & Wilcox boilers, owned and run by Con Edison. The plant helps in the supply of steam to the Manhattan steam system when needed, via the Ravenswood Tunnel under the East River.[17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ravenswood Generating Station" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 5, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "NYISO 2018 Gold Book (pdf)". www.nyiso.com. p. 55. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  3. ^ "Con Edison Completes Sale of Ravenswood Power Plant in Queens" (Press release). Con Edison. June 18, 1999. Archived from the original on November 5, 2006. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "National Grid to Acquire KeySpan in $7.3 Billion Cash Transaction" (Press release). National Grid. February 27, 2006. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "National Grid plc Announces Sale of Ravenswood Generating Station for $2.9 Billion". www.businesswire.com. March 31, 2008. Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "TransCanada completes sale of US Northeast power assets to Helix Generation". www.dailyenergyinsider.com. June 9, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "LS Power Completes Acquisition of 3,950 MW Power Generation Portfolio in Northeast". www.lspower.com. June 5, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  8. ^ "TransCanada Completes Sale of U.S. Northeast Power Assets". www.transcanada.com. June 5, 2017. Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Krebs, Rose (November 30, 2018). "TransCanada Accused Of Misleading Electricity Plant Buyer". www.law360.com. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  10. ^ "Long Island City will soon be home to New York's biggest battery". Crain's New York Business. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e "New York Energy Highway RFI Response by TransCanada Corporation" (PDF). May 30, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Ravenswood Unit 40, Long Island City, N.Y.
  13. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (August 4, 1970). "Con Ed Is Still Mystified By Big Allis Short‐Circuit". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2018. On Nov. 9, 1965. four months after Big Allis went into operation, a blackout in the North east ruined 14 of the generator's 15 bearings.
  14. ^ Schewe, Phillip F. (February 20, 2007). The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World. Joseph Henry Press / National Academies Press. pp. 133. ISBN 9780309133890.
  15. ^ Massey, Daniel (June 23, 2009). "Labor fight could unplug Queens power plant". Crain's New York Business. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  16. ^ Kihss, Peter (August 1, 1982). "Con Ed Preparing Queens Plant for Coal Use". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  17. ^ Jacobs, Charles M. (1894). A General Report Upon the Initiation and Construction of the Tunnel Under the East River New York.
  18. ^ "ENB Region 2 Completed Applications 05/16/2001". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008.

External links[edit]