NRG Power Plant In Jeopardy After $115 Million Hit By State

DUNKIRK – NRG’s cost to reconnect the Dunkirk power plant could exceed $115 million, which has State Sen. Cathy Young seeing red and Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello calling the state agency in charge of oversite “rogue.”
Young is blasting a report by the New York Independent System Operator which says NRG’s cost to reconnect could surpass $115 million. She is urging NYISO to join her efforts “in good faith.” She said this is an example of why it is difficult to do business in New York State.
“The repowering of NRG in Dunkirk has been a high priority and the focus of years of intense negotiations, planning and investment on the part of NRG leadership, state and local officials and stakeholders throughout the community,” Young said. “That is why it is outrageous that NYISO has put the entire project at risk by stating that NRG’s cost to reconnect could exceed a staggering $100 million. To spring this on NRG now, as the process moves into its final phases, is reprehensible and raises many questions about NYISO’s methods and analysis.”
Borrello told WNYNews Now that NYISO answers only to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and sometimes answers to no one. He called NYISO more “shadow government.”
Borello said New York State has the 8th highest energy costs in America, but is the only state in the 10 highest with a wealth of natural energy resources.
“Natural gas has a much, much smaller carbon footprint than coal,” Borrello said.
NRG provides payments which Dunkirk, the Dunkirk school district and Chautauqua County rely on, Young said. If the payments are lost, it would be “devastating” she said, adding local taxpayers would be hit with making up the difference of the lost payments.
Borrello said at one time, these payments made up about 40 percent of the budget for Dunkirk and the school district.
“Additionally, Western New York needs the energy that a repowered NRG plant would deliver to enhance its manufacturing sector and tax base. Placing these types of hardships on the private sector is why it is so difficult to do business in this state. NYISO needs to examine its own role in creating this challenging environment” Young said.
“I am working with NRG and all the parties involved to ensure this project comes to fruition. I urge NYISO officials to join this effort in good faith.,” Young added. “Repowering NRG in Dunkirk is a goal that is in everyone’s best interest and one that I will continue to pursue until success is achieved.”