KeySpan Corporation, New York, announced that its new 250-MW electric-generating plant at its Ravenswood facility in Long Island City, Queens, New York, was synchronized to the Con Edison grid for the first time.

In its first major test, the unit was stabilized at a minimum generation load for two hours and then removed from service in a controlled shutdown. The plant is the first base-load electric generating-facility to be built in New York City since deregulation of the electric industry in the late 1990s.

“This is a giant step in bringing much-needed electric supplies on line in New York City,” said Robert B. Catell, chairman and chief executive officer of KeySpan. “The Ravenswood expansion is the first major improvement to New York City’s power supply since last year’s blackout. The new plant, which is one of the cleanest and most efficient ever built, will provide New York City with critically needed electric power.”

The new plant expands by 250 MW the capacity of KeySpan’s Ravenswood electric-generating facility. The largest generator in New York City, Ravenswood can currently provide 2160 MW of electric power, or about 25% of New York City’s electric needs. The expansion will increase Ravenswood’s electric-generation capacity by 12%, to 2410 MW.

This week’s test was a milestone in the expansion of Ravenswood. Originally proposed in 1999, the expansion was approved by New York State's Siting Board on Electric Generation and the Environment in 2001. Construction began in 2002. The plant’s official launch is expected in March 2004.