July 3 Public hearings over the possible
retirement of New York's 520-megawatt (MW) Dunkirk coal-fired
electricity generation plant will be held on July 15 to address
concerns about power reliability, state regulators said on
In a release, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC)
said it started examining electric reliability needs from the
proposed mothballing of two coal-fired power plants - NRG Energy
Inc's Dunkirk and privately held Cayuga Operating Co's
302-MW Cayuga - in January.
The NYPSC said one alternative is the conversion from coal
to gas of the Dunkirk and Cayuga facilities. The Commission
noted that costs of any conversion would be paid by the
customers of the local utilities which transmit the power - a
New York unit of UK power company National Grid Plc for
Dunkirk and in the case of Cayuga, New York State Electric and
Gas (NYSEG), a unit of Spanish power company Iberdrola SA
NRG and Cayuga Operating are expected to continue to own and
operate their plants.
In the spring, NRG reached an agreement with National Grid
to run the 100-MW Unit 2 at Dunkirk for another two years, from
June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2015, pending regulatory approval.
The Commission directed National Grid to evaluate repowering
Dunkirk as an alternative to the utility's proposed transmission
reinforcements and required NYSEG to do the same for the Cayuga
National Grid has completed its evaluation and submitted a
report to the Commission. Both NRG and National Grid have said
that their proposal - repowering Dunkirk for NRG and bolstering
the transmission system for National Grid - is the better option
The PSC will hear comments on the National Grid evaluation
at the July 15th meeting. The Commission said it will set up
another meeting when the NYSEG report is available.