NRG Energy is not going to restart its Dunkirk energy plant in western New York, with the corporate on July 11 saying the price to reconnect the ability to the state’s electrical grid prohibits reopening the retired coal-fired plant as a pure gas-fueled facility.
David Gaier, an NRG spokesman, informed POWER the mission’s elevated prices, together with wanted upgrades to the plant, made the conversion and restart unworkable. He cited the mission’s monetary uncertainty and the chance that the upgrades might delay the mission till 2024.
“The mission was placed on maintain in 2015 due to an Entergy lawsuit filed towards the NYPSC [New York Public Service Commission] difficult the legality of the Dunkirk contract,” Gaier wrote in an electronic mail to POWER. “We moved ahead as soon as the lawsuit was dropped, however the delay rendered Dunkirk a ‘new’ mission—requiring the NYISO [New York Independent System Operator] interconnection course of and its related prices of $15 million. More just lately, we had been knowledgeable that these prices might rise to just about $114 million—inclusive of NYISO, PJM and National Grid prices. Additionally, these interconnection upgrades might not be prepared till 2024, additional delaying the mission. This monetary uncertainty, together with a major schedule delay, rendered the mission unworkable.”
In June, NRG mentioned the mission may very well be in jeopardy as a result of uncertainty in regards to the interconnection course of. Gaier on June 7 informed POWER,“When we restarted the examine [of converting the plant to natural gas], we had been informed the interconnection would value about $15 million.”
NRG in 2012 mentioned it might mothball the Dunkirk plant’s 4 coal-fired models, saying the ability was “not at the moment financial and isn’t anticipated to be financial.” NRG agreed to maintain the plant working by means of 2015 to keep up reliability of the area’s energy grid. Units 1 and a pair of on the 635-MW plant got here on-line in 1950, with the opposite two models starting operation in 1959 and 1960. The plant was often known as the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant till the late 1990s.
After NRG introduced it might shut the coal plant, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in December 2013 mentioned the ability would convert from coal to pure fuel, with an settlement that the repowered plant can be in service by fall 2015. Entergy, nevertheless, which owns the Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County north of New York City, filed a lawsuit difficult the deal and state subsidies for Dunkirk, saying subsidy funds from the state and ratepayers amounted to illegal tampering in wholesale electrical energy markets.
A examine of the area’s grid in 2015 raised questions on whether or not the conversion mission was wanted. A report by NYISO, along with National Grid, mentioned Dunkirk may very well be closed with out impacting energy reliability within the space. The Dunkirk plant is in Chautauqua County, southwest of Buffalo on the shore of Lake Erie. Supporters of the plant’s conversion to pure fuel challenged the examine as a result of its assumption that Dunkirk’s energy era would get replaced by electrical energy from a coal-fired plant in Pennsylvania, which might negate the environmental advantages of Dunkirk’s conversion to pure fuel.
The Sierra Club and a bunch of greater than 70 New York state elected officers in June 2015 requested Cuomo to rethink subsidies for coal crops within the state, together with Dunkirk, saying, “The Dunkirk coal plant bailout will value New York vitality prospects over $200 million over the subsequent 10 years, plus an extra $15 million from the New York Power Authority.”
NRG idled the coal plant in January 2016. The Entergy lawsuit was dropped in November 2016 after Exelon agreed to purchase Entergy’s FitzPatrick nuclear plant, which is positioned in upstate New York. NRG then mentioned it might resurrect its plan to repower Dunkirk with pure fuel. But NRG mentioned the delay attributable to the lawsuit…