June 18, 2014
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY – The New York State Public Service Commission has approved the repowering of the Dunkirk power plant. This decision not only improves reliability of the electric power in NYS but also provides economic benefits to Western New York. Under the $140 million agreement between National Grid and NRG, the repowered facility is assured operation for 10 years with added capability to generate 435 megawatts (MW) using natural gas.
“After a detailed and thorough analysis, coupled with enormous support of the community and its elected leaders, the repowering of the Dunkirk power plant is moving forward. I commend all of the involved parties for working closely together to develop a plan that resolved the outstanding issues while also creating jobs, providing a much needed tax base for the community, and helping to create a cleaner environment,” said Governor Cuomo.
The refueling plan will create approximately 50 construction jobs, preserve permanent jobs at the site, and restore tax payments to local governments to their previous level of approximately $8 million annually. The plan will add jobs to the local communities and maintain the existing 68 jobs at the plant at least through mid-2015.
The Commission’s analysis determined that repowering provides financial benefits and production savings that exceed the costs of the agreement to National Grid.
The power plant is the county’s largest single taxpayer and the plant’s impact on the City of Dunkirk, the Dunkirk school district as well as Chautauqua County is enormous.
“The decision to repower NRG with natural gas is the right decision for protecting jobs, lowering utility rates for taxpayers and caring for the well-being of the entire community," said Congressman Tom Reed.