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Completion of Improvements Announced to Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Facility in Nassau County

Written by Chris Boyle  |  27. April 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the completion of the upgraded wastewater collection and treatment facility located at the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District in Great Neck, Nassau County. This $12.3 million project included the construction of a first-in-the-state receiving station that uses cooking grease to power facility operations. That, plus the construction of a third microturbine and upgrades to its anaerobic digesters, makes this facility one of the most environmentally advanced wastewater treatment plants in the state. The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District serves more than 25,000 residents in Nassau County. 
 
"New York is leading the way in creating green solutions to infrastructure issues that are vital to the health and livelihood of Long Islanders and all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "This project is a standout example in that effort and will further our efforts to protect Long Island's natural resources while innovatively repurposing waste products to help power what is one of the most environmentally advanced wastewater treatment plants in the State." 
 
 Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO Eric Gertler said, "We are always looking for opportunities to incentivize growth while also ensuring the well-being of our communities. Empire State Development is proud to support this project that does both, with first-in-the-state technology and upgraded equipment to maximize productivity while also safeguarding the environment." 
 
The completed project was supported by Empire State Development through a $12.29 million Transformative Investment Program grant included in the FY 2017-2018 New York State budget. The project included the construction of a 2,500-square-foot grease receiving station in Great Neck. This new feature will support the demand for electricity and heat in the facility using cooking grease to power facility operations. It will help to solve Long Island's restaurant grease disposal challenges, by reusing the grease as a fuel source for the digesters instead of carting it off Long Island as currently done. The second component involved the construction of a third microturbine for the Microturbine Cogeneration Facility, and an upgrade to its anaerobic digesters, doubling the present methane production and tripling the amount of gas storage at the facility.  
 
The three components of the overall upgrade will result in the increase of the facility's capability to generate electricity by 50 percent and heating by 100 percent, thereby reducing dependency on traditional utility services. This is a waste-to-energy project and will be a municipal model for government efficiency and environmental conservation.   
 
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "The upgrades made to the Great Neck Pollution Control District facility should serve as a model for what government can achieve when it makes smart, sustainable investments in our infrastructure that enhance our community, reduce energy use, and save taxpayers money. Thanks to smart investments by the State, our community will now be home to one of the most advanced wastewater treatment plants in the state that will simultaneously leave our water cleaner, help solve our restaurant grease disposal challenges, and dramatically reduce on-site energy use."
 
Assemblywoman Gina L. Sillitti said, "I am excited about the Governor's announcement of the completion of this historic project right here in the 16th Assembly District.  The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District has always been on the forefront of cutting edge environmentally friendly technology but this first of its kind in our state takes it to another level.  Imagine using cooking grease for power!  That is exactly what they are doing here and helping our small businesses in the process.  I am so proud of this project and congratulations to all involved who made it a reality." 
 
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Proud that Nassau County is now home to the most environmentally advanced and energy efficient wastewater treatment plant in the state.  Innovation like this is key to protecting our environment and ensuring this essential service is conducted in an efficient manner for the benefit of the Great Neck residents for generations to come." 
 
LIREDC Co-Chairs Kevin Law and Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University said, "The LIREDC was glad to support this project. It's important for the region and serves as a model of a sustainable waste to energy project for the state and the country.  Not only will it turn waste products into electricity and heat, but it will also save money for the utility district as well as the residents it serves."
 
 Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Chairman Steve Reiter said, "On behalf of my co-commissioners and our dedicated staff, I would like to thank Empire State Development for enabling the District, through the completion of these projects, to become a municipal model of efficiency and for recognizing the District as one of the most environmentally advanced wastewater treatment plants in the state." 
 
Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, "The Town appreciates the efforts of the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District to find new and innovative ways to generate electricity and heating. Unique upgrades including the addition of a microturbine and using cooking grease to power the facility make it the first facility in New York State to do so. None of this would be possible without the support of Governor Cuomo and the Empire State Development Corp. These upgrades will help our community and protect our environmental resources for years to come. We are proud to have one of the most environmentally advanced wastewater treatment plants in the State, right here in North Hempstead." 
 
Great Neck Plaza Mayor Ted Rosen said, "I commend the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District on the completion of improvements to its facility on East Shore Road in Great Neck. This plant serves many residents in Nassau County, including many in the Village of Great Neck Plaza. Among other things, the improvements include a receiving station that utilizes cooking grease to power facility operations, which will help the facility meet its demand for electricity and heat in the facility and thereby lower its reliance on traditional utility services, and in so doing, will assist in the disposal of restaurant grease. The renovated facility will be one of the most environmentally advanced wastewater treatment plants in our state. I also salute Empire State Development which provided funding for the improvements project through a grant of more than $12 million in the New York State Budget several New York State fiscal years ago. This is a great example of the use of public funding in the application of innovative, resourceful technology that will help generate increased energy in a manner that is environmentally protective. Congratulations to both the District and Empire State Development on a job well done." 
 
About Empire State Development   
Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. Learn more about Regional Councils here and more about Empire State Development here.

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