NRG to close 380-MW Huntley coal-fired plant, puts Dunkirk conversions on hold
NRG Energy said Tuesday it plans to close the 380-MW Huntley coal-fired north of Buffalo, New York, and has put on hold the conversion of four units at the Dunkirk coal-fired plant south of the city to burn natural gas.
The company notified the New York Public Service Commission that Huntley faces difficult challenges. “This decision demonstrates that the energy and capacity markets in New York don’t meet the needs of the electric system,” NRG spokesman David Gaier said Tuesday in an interview.
The PSC has 180 days to determine if the plant can be retired without creating a reliability problem, Gaier said. If it is needed for reliability, the company would work with the New York Independent System Operator or National Grid to negotiate a reliability contract. If the plant is not needed, it would be retired March 1, Gaier said.
“Market conditions just don’t allow keeping the plant open. There is no reasonable situation that would allow it to stay open,” Gaier said, noting that low natural gas prices, coupled with capacity and other energy prices, have made the plant uneconomic to run.