State power grid study may have final say on FitzPatrick’s fate
A study is underway that some New York officials are hoping will save Oswego County’s FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.
When Entergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in November that it planned to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in about a year, it triggered a ninety-day study.
The New York Independent Systems Operator (NYISO) is in charge of operating the state’s power grid. NYISO spokesman Dave Flanagan said the study’s purpose is twofold.
First: resource adequacy.
“Do we have enough generation in that particular area to operate the system reliably?” Flanagan said.
Basically — are there enough power sources in central New York to meet the region’s electricity needs on the hottest and coldest days of the year without FitzPatrick?
The second purpose: transmission security.
“Can we operate the high-voltage system and the local utility distribution system within those reliability standards if that generating plant is not there?” Flanagan said.
AKA — if FitzPatrick closes is the existing transmission infrastructure capable of bringing in enough outside power to meet the region’s needs?
Should the study conclude that FitzPatrick is needed, the state can prevent its closure. Entergy would then be compensated to operate the plant by the region’s consumers until a replacement source is found or upgrades to transmission lines are made. That arrangement currently exists in Rochester where rate payers subsidize Exelon’s Ginna Nuclear Power Plant because NYISO determined it was needed for the area.