Charles Poletti Power Project

When the New York Power Authority (NYPA) purchased the Charles Poletti Power Project, the power plant was known as Astoria 6. It was still under construction and owned by Con Edison. In 1974 the purchase was made, and by 1977, under the ownership of the NYPA, the power plant started to produce electricity. In 1982, Astoria 6 was renamed as the Charles Poletti Power Project after Charles Poletti, who had been the Governor of New York as well as a trustee of the NYPA. The plant is across the river from Manhattan, in Astoria, Queens.

The power plant was converted to use both oil and natural gas to create energy during 1980. This allowed the operators of the plant to utilize either energy source based on factors of convenience, such as price or availability. With this “duel fuel” capability, the Charles Poletti Power Project was capable of producing 885 megawatts of electricity.

The NYPA is also the owner of 17 additional power facilities in New York. Established in 1931 by Franklin Roosevelt, the company now provides power needs to nearly all locations in the state. With many establishments and over 1,400 miles of power lines, the New York Power Authority is responsible for employing 400,000 people.

After a long period of pressure from the Natural Resource Defense Council and numerous citizens who deemed the plant to be Queens’ worst source of pollution, the Charles Poletti Power Project was shut down in 2010. The power requirements of residents who had previously depended on the Charles Poletti Power Project are now being met by a 500 megawatt plant in Astoria.

As was common in the vast majority of the developing 20th century, countless power plants utilized asbestos, primarily because the substance has excellent resistance to electrical current. Charles Poletti Power Project was likely no exception. Workers in the plant may have been exposed to the material until as recently as the 1970s, when asbestos regulations began to be formed as a result of a better understanding of the health risks posed when asbestos dust or particles are inhaled or otherwise allowed to enter the lungs.


Belson, Ken. (January 28, 2009). “Skepticism about plan to shutter power plant.” Retrieved from the New York Times.

Pereira, Ivan. (February 3, 2010). “Astoria power plant closes under pressure.” Retrieved from the New York Post.