NRG Plant Closures Could Impact Reliability in NY
The New York Public Service Commission on Friday requested NYISO to perform reliability studies in western New York after NRG Energy announced it was retiring one coal plant and suspending plans to convert another to natural gas.
NRG said Aug. 25 it would retire the 380-MW Huntley Generating Units in Tonawanda, north of Buffalo, and halt plans to convert the 435-MW Dunkirk Station, southwest of Buffalo, to natural gas.
The PSC request capped a week in which NRG’s announcement and protests over ratepayer subsidies to a third plant roiled the upstate New York power market, putting more than 1,100 MW of generating capacity in question.
NRG said it plans to mothball Dunkirk on Dec. 31, when a current reliability support services agreement expires, and retire Huntley on March 1, 2016.
NRG won approval from the PSC more than a year ago to convert the Dunkirk plant to natural gas at above-market rates. Dunkirk would have received out-of-market payments of $20.4 million per year from National Grid and a one-time $15 million subsidy from New York state.
Entergy, owner of the 838-MW James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in western New York, sued the PSC in federal court in February, claiming the subsidies interfered with FERC’s jurisdiction over the wholesale power market.