Power plants in NY closing after “help” from government

posted at 2:41 pm on August 26, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

Out in the western portion of New York there is a coal fired power plant located in Dunkirk which is operated by NRG Energy. It’s an aging plant and they recently made the decision to convert over to natural gas. The reasons are varied, but there’s obviously been a lot of pressure from the government to get away from coal energy. Plus, natural gas prices are at historic lows, while producing fewer carbon emissions so the government was all on board with that also. It’s a great plan, right? Unfortunately it came to a screaming halt this week, two years after being cited by the Governor’s office as a great victory all the way around. (Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)

An aging western New York power plant’s $150 million transition from coal to natural gas is officially in limbo, less than two years after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local officials held a news conference heralding the plan.

David Gaier, a spokesman for NRG Energy, said Tuesday the company has put its plans “on hold” for the power plant in Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. The company also alerted the state Public Service Commission it plans to close another plant in Tonawanda, Erie County.

Gaier pointed to “uncertainty” surrounding the Dunkirk project created by a lawsuit filed earlier this year by a subsidiary of Entergy Corp., the company that owns the Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, Westchester County.

What went so wrong? As mentioned in the article, there are too many known unknowns about the future of the plant because of a lawsuit brought by the energy company which operates the Indian Point nuclear plant. You see, as part of the deal which the state worked out to ensure the conversion of the Dunkirk plant away from coal, they secured huge subsidies to come from the state and also through additional fees handed down to consumers. With that big of a thumb on the scale, Indian Point was finding it tough to compete.

Entergy Nuclear Operations has accused the state Public Service Commission of illegally influencing the New York’s energy markets by approving a package of subsidies for a coal-fired plant in Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, that is converting to natural gas.

“The (Dunkirk) deal undercuts the prices paid to other power plants for the services they provide, financially straining their ability to remain competitive and ultimately leading to early (power plant) retirements,” Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said in a statement.

Just for some icing on the cake, NRG Energy has another coal fired plant in Tonawanda, New York which might have followed the same pattern, but now they basically thrown in the towel and are just shutting it down. The government’s anti-coal, anti-carbon agenda drives a lot of interesting decisions these days and they mostly involve Big Brother jumping in and picking winners and losers to satisfy the demands of their core constituency. Those plants not only provide a lot of jobs in the struggling upstate economy, but they kept a solid, reliable source of power on the grid. But by jumping in the middle of the energy market, the state government was cutting the legs out from under the nuclear power producers. (Which, by the way, produce zero carbon.)

This set of events played out rather differently in the media, but it’s still an embarrassment to Governor Andrew Cuomo who was crowing over how well he had handled the entire thing. But as usual, people without the skills required to run a lemonade stand probably shouldn’t be dipping their toes into anything as massive and complicated as the energy market. Unfortunately it’s probably too late for the workers at these plants. At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.


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Comments

“Hi, we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

Flange on August 26, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Your cost for electricity will necessarily go up.

Bmore on August 26, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Let NY go dark…or have rolling blackouts…

PatriotRider on August 26, 2015 at 2:46 PM

…it’s the only way they will learn…

PatriotRider on August 26, 2015 at 2:47 PM

So, a Socialist state failed? You don’t say.

faraway on August 26, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Noo Yawk – ya’ll just f….d yerselves. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

vnvet on August 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM

This is what happens when you put the people who go to Starbucks in charge.

So, we don’t enforce our own border, but we put power plants out of business. And the media wonders why Americans are angry at politicians.

Oil Can on August 26, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Let NY go dark…or have rolling blackouts…

PatriotRider on August 26, 2015 at 2:46 PM

It’ll end up looking like that orbital photo of North Korea. NYC will be a bright spot while the rest of the state will be pitch black.

Occams Stubble on August 26, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Jazz/Ed,

We need is China dumping US Treasuries article. They need cash bad.

Oil Can on August 26, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Well, I ain’t laughing. Here, in northern NJ, we get our electricity from southern NY, so we’re getting screwed as well.

parke on August 26, 2015 at 3:09 PM

At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.


Just when you think things can’t get any better?

Up pops a gem like this to let us visualize millions of libs/progs freezing in the dark this winter!

PolAgnostic on August 26, 2015 at 3:10 PM

Dumb….very dumb…. When a nuke goes down for maintenance & repairs back up power is purchased to take its place while off the grid. Shutting down the fossil plants that provided this service is not smart.

mixplix on August 26, 2015 at 3:15 PM

At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.

I hope not.
NY voters need a harsh lesson about the consequences of how they keep voting.

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM

Electricity in WNY is already ridiculously high. I drive by the Tonawanda plant every day as my office is right near there. Hard to believe that a one-two punch from Obama and Cuomo would knock out that plant.

Naturally, places like Western and Central NY, who did NOT vote for Cuomo in large amounts (most of the counties and districts around here are redder than the red stripes on Old Glory) are going to be the ones that suffer job loss and power shortages in order to feed the Dem-dominated beast that is NYC.

Oh how I wish we could split the state. Let NYC go off on it’s own downward spiral and stop using the rest of the state as a sled on the ride down.

wearyman on August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM

Your cost for electricity will necessarily go up skyrocket.

Bmore on August 26, 2015 at 2:44 PM

The actual quote…

Dexter_Alarius on August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM

Noo Yawk – ya’ll just f….d yerselves. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

vnvet on August 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Noo Yawk has been pronging themselves for a long time. Don’t forget this.

Shutting this plant down almost tripled Long Island’s electric rates over 5 years and cost them hundreds of jobs. Of course it actually helped us since we sucked up several of their already trained operators. Always good to get experienced people like that.

Oldnuke on August 26, 2015 at 3:18 PM

I hope the New Yorkers freeze. They voted for this. Reap what you sow.

jukin3 on August 26, 2015 at 3:19 PM

I’m sure all of the wind turbines and solar panels in New York City can pick up the slack.

MichaelGabriel on August 26, 2015 at 3:23 PM

I’m sure all of the wind turbines and solar panels in New York City can pick up the slack.

MichaelGabriel on August 26, 2015 at 3:23 PM

And everyone gets a good deal on minced-fried pidgeon…..

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 3:26 PM

So, Cuomo is now in the running to knock Gray(out) Davis from his perch as worst Governor ever?

It sucks to be a serf in the modern age. Thanks, Democrats, for ensuring that our economy will forever be second-rate, with your globull warming climate change claptrap.

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2015 at 3:26 PM

Next up: Democrats move toward a brighter tomorrow by outlawing heat.

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Shut down all home heating oil plants until they are licensed and inspected by the government. It should only take 3 or 4 years.

In the meantime, the northerners will become “warming deniers” real fast.

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:

Coal (anthracite) 228.6
Coal (bituminous) 205.7
Coal (lignite) 215.4
Coal (subbituminous) 214.3
Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
Gasoline 157.2
Propane 139.0
Natural gas 117.0

barnone on August 26, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Maybe their former Carpetbagger Senator can come to their rescue once the MSM finagles her a path to the White House. Alternatively, she could be put into an upstate prison (Attica) where she belongs. Put her @$$ on a stationary bicycle to generate electricity, although that might not even be enough for one of those new low wattage bulbs.

Big Doc G on August 26, 2015 at 3:31 PM

NY got the government it deserves.
I wonder how all those enviro-wackos in NYC are going to power their Ipads and Macbooks without power.

Iblis on August 26, 2015 at 3:37 PM

For all of you guys laughing at New Yorkers, Please refer to this map:

http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/governor/new-york/#.Vd4VXn3T8TE

Lots of red areas there that are going to be suffering because of the blue areas. They didn’t vote Cuomo in, but they still are stuck with him.

wearyman on August 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Wearyman, thank you. There are a great many New Yorkers who are stuck living under the rule of the foolish liberals. Just a hard working man with a family who was born here, hard to move away with all my family still here.

NYC completely ruins all elections for this state!

LongIslandRepub on August 26, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Your cost for electricity will necessarily go up skyrocket
Bmore on August 26, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Fixed it for ya…….

angrymike on August 26, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Lots of red areas there that are going to be suffering because of the blue areas. They didn’t vote Cuomo in, but they still are stuck with him.

wearyman on August 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM

The people in the red areas need to make sure the people in the blue areas feel the consequences.
If the remaining power plants are in the red areas – cut the power to the blue spots.

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM

NYC completely ruins all elections for this state!

LongIslandRepub on August 26, 2015 at 3:48 PM

The Peoples’ Republik of Denver-Boulder does the same thing to Colorado.

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 4:01 PM

But by jumping in the middle of the energy market, the state government was cutting the legs out from under the nuclear power producers. (Which, by the way, produce zero carbon.)

That doesn’t bother them any, Jazz. They’re aristocrats, they don’t care what the peasants are going through as long as they don’t have to experience it themselves. And blackouts produce zero carbon as well.

GrumpyOldFart on August 26, 2015 at 4:04 PM

obama is closing all these coal plants with no new plants coming on lone. Wait until they need the power to run the homes in the winter snd there is not enough power. This is a crisis made by obama, democrats and republicans.

hardrock230 on August 26, 2015 at 4:09 PM

Just another example of the people and the State of New York committing slow suicide. Upstate New York is a basket case along with the large upstate cities. They are all running pell mell after Detroit, jealous of Detroit’s stupendous failure. Solar power will save us? New York is madly spending tax dollars to install solar panels all over upstate which is near the top for most total cloudy days in the US. Last winter I watched solar panels remain buried under snow for weeks as the sun shown.

Viator on August 26, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Another fine kick in the teeth to the fine people of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, and Upstate NY from Andrew Cuomo and the downstate NY liberal Democrat mafia. Add in the fracking ban, and the citizens of Chautauqua County are screwed once again. Dunkirk used to be a great small city, but the NY State government has killed it. Great job, Marxist crapheads.

MikeHu on August 26, 2015 at 4:12 PM

For all of you guys laughing at New Yorkers, Please refer to this map:

http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/governor/new-york/#.Vd4VXn3T8TE

Lots of red areas there that are going to be suffering because of the blue areas. They didn’t vote Cuomo in, but they still are stuck with him.

wearyman on August 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM

As I suggested above, modern day serfs are we.

I, for one, am not laughing. I pray for you, and all the rest of us who do not deserve the government we get.

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2015 at 4:12 PM

I hope not.
NY voters need a harsh lesson about the consequences of how they keep voting.

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM

No, they’ll simply blame Republicans and other assorted racist organizations, “tea baggers” and so on.

They’ll just move elsewhere and pick up where they left off. Vote Democrat. Demand their free s–t (oh, sorry, I mean their services). And they’ll do it loudly.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 26, 2015 at 4:15 PM

At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.

This is where you’re wrong. These plants should close immediately. All the plants Obama wants to close should close immediately. Nothing will break ‘The Won’s’ energy policy plans faster than repeated, chronic, extended blackouts.

trigon on August 26, 2015 at 4:19 PM

The photo reminds me of the Pink Floyd album, Animals

…which reminds me of the song Dogs….

…which, when I think about the lyrics, seems perfectly appropriate.

GrumpyOldFart on August 26, 2015 at 4:22 PM

No, they’ll simply blame Republicans and other assorted racist organizations, “tea baggers” and so on.

They’ll just move elsewhere and pick up where they left off. Vote Democrat. Demand their free s–t (oh, sorry, I mean their services). And they’ll do it loudly.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 26, 2015 at 4:15 PM

They will – but for the record, I did say “they NEED” the lesson – I didn’t say they would get it or understand it…….

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Nothing will break ‘The Won’s’ energy policy plans faster than repeated, chronic, extended blackouts.

trigon on August 26, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Especially with cold weather on the way – “winter is coming, and it’s going to be a long one…..”

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 4:26 PM

A bumper sticker I remember seeing in OK and TX after the Oil Windfall Profits tax was passed under Carter:
‘Let the bast”ds freeze in the dark’

sammus on August 26, 2015 at 4:34 PM

I hope the New Yorkers freeze. They voted for this. Reap what you sow.

jukin3 on August 26, 2015 at 3:19 PM

F*ck all of you. This is my county and we are reliably REPUBLICAN every election.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 4:34 PM

Well, it’s a good thing we are going to have that global warming stuff.

Huh? What’s that Farmer’s Almanac

New Englanders will once again experience a very frigid (shivery) winter (Déjà vu).

Ooops.

LoganSix on August 26, 2015 at 4:48 PM

How do you spell b-r-o-w-n-o-u-t ? or maybe b-l-a-c-k-o-u-t ?

Force a few more closures and see what happens. Hot is uncomfortable. Cold is deadly.

Infidelius on August 26, 2015 at 4:54 PM

LoganSix on August 26, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Maybe take a look at a map sometime, we aren’t New England. And every winter in Chautauqua county is cold. Its in the snow belt on Lake Erie. Its a rural farming county. There are zero big cities or even medium cities in this county. Our population is small, tiny and certainly cannot do anything about who is elected Governor by NYC on the exact opposite side of the state.

When the confederate flag controversy happened many people in this county started flying the confederate flag to show solidarity with the south and their freedom of speech. We have a repeal the safe act sign on every yard because the people who live here hunt and are NRA members. There are plenty of Don’t Tread on Me flags flying in our front yards. We have taxes that are way too high. We aren’t responsible for this idiocy. We didn’t vote for Obama or Cuomo. You don’t know what you are talking about.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 5:04 PM

At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.

Don’t count on it.

GarandFan on August 26, 2015 at 5:08 PM

The people in the red areas need to make sure the people in the blue areas feel the consequences.
If the remaining power plants are in the red areas – cut the power to the blue spots.

dentarthurdent on August 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM

The nuke plant is in the blue area. The plant in the picture is in a red area that is rural. It will be farmers and their children who are freezing not liberals. But keep hoping for the worst so New Yorkers learn their lesson. I’ll be hoping your area gets a little karma back, too.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 5:23 PM

Just when you think things can’t get any better?

Up pops a gem like this to let us visualize millions of libs/progs freezing in the dark this winter!

PolAgnostic on August 26, 2015 at 3:10 PM

The people freezing aren’t liberals. They are Republican, rural, farmers, and small town. This is my county. Your comment is just stupid. You really think the liberals 500 miles away are going to care if a bunch of red necks in bum f*ck western NY are freezing their azzes off. No. They don’t care. They aren’t going to learn any lesson. But keep cheering on a brutal winter for my family. I hope mother nature kicks your azz, too.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 5:36 PM

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 5:36 PM

As I said of the NYC/Albany ruling clique upthread:

They’re aristocrats, they don’t care what the peasants are going through as long as they don’t have to experience it themselves. And blackouts produce zero carbon as well.

I hope mother nature kicks your azz, too.

I can’t speak for him, but for my part, trust me, she does, on a regular basis. They call my stomping grounds “Hurricane Alley” for a reason. Think Sandy… every few years.

I wish I had a good answer for you. The closest I can come is this.

GrumpyOldFart on August 26, 2015 at 6:08 PM

GrumpyOldFart on August 26, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Thanks for that. I don’t really want anyone to have a bad winter or hurricane season but it makes me mad when the good guys are rooting for me to suffer. Trust me if you asked someone in NYC about Chautauqua County they wouldn’t have the first clue where you were talking about. And they abhor people like us. Living in NY State is hard. We wonder why we are here all the time. But its where we live. Our family is here. My husband has lived on this property his entire life. I’m just tired. Sorry for being a crazy whacko bird hysterical woman.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 6:57 PM

hey mostly involve Big Brother jumping in and picking winners and losers to satisfy the demands of their core constituency

Happens in farming & ranching.
Govt pays farmers to farm this or that, pays farmers not to farm, provides incentive to plant this crop or that, keeps crappy farmers in business that abuse the land etc.
Meanwhile, this drives up land rents for native & tame pastures, causing the rancher to have to pay outrageous rents for shitty ground that has no business being farmed in the 1st place.
And farmers with cows? They rip up land that should be pasture bcs the govt programs incentivize that. Meanwhile, they have pockets of govt $$ they use to pay outrageous pasture rents for their cows bcs they don’t have enough grass, bcs they’re ripping it up to plants crops.
Meanwhile, good farmers who don’t try to play this game have NO CHOICE bcs they will go out of business if they do not.
This leaves the rancher, those who don’t farm, wondering WTF is happening that farmers are paying $1500+ per acre in SW ND and other places where there’s nothing but blow sand and a little grass.
That shit does NOT pencil out.

Badger40 on August 26, 2015 at 7:35 PM

I live in upstate New York–the Adirondacks, to be precise.

NONE of us here voted for this crap, we’ve been regularly defecated on by downstate (read NYC) because we don’t have the sheer numbers to overcome the urban blue cities.

I won’t freeze, because I have an alternate heat/power source for emergencies, but there’s a lot of people here who haven’t that luxury.

I do appreciate the kind concern shown by some here, the others can go shit in their hats.

irongrampa on August 26, 2015 at 7:47 PM

I don’t really want anyone to have a bad winter or hurricane season…

Don’t worry about me. They say Texans are arrogant, and there’s some justice to that. You have to be arrogant to be the kind of person who would look at the spot where Tornado Alley and Hurricane Alley meet, and think, “God bless Texas.”

Sorry for being a crazy whacko bird hysterical woman.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 6:57 PM

No big. It sucks to find yourself out in the middle of no man’s land, and realize that not only is the enemy shooting at you from the front, your supposed friends are shooting at you from behind.

I’d say that under such circumstances, reserving the right to bitch is hardly unreasonable.

GrumpyOldFart on August 26, 2015 at 9:39 PM

I can hardly wait to see how many NYC elevators can be powered by solar power…at night!!\

They might want to re-think this decision after a few skyscrapers catch fire.

landlines on August 26, 2015 at 11:14 PM

At this point I’m just hoping that there’s enough juice on the grid to keep the lights on this winter.

When the rolling blackouts happen in NYC during the winter, some of them might have enough sense to rethink their suicidal policies. Some of them. Maybe.

Theophile on August 26, 2015 at 11:44 PM

Let’s also be clear that a coal plant probably employs 50 people (if that) compared to, say, Indian Point that likely employs over 1000.

Let’s also not play the left’s game and talk about zero carbon emissions. Not relevant to anything. Other than to plants that would prefer CO2 to survive.

You can’t go around fighting the Global Warming hoax that is based 100% on declaring CO2 a pollutant, and then cite zero carbon emissions as a good thing.

Carbon emissions are a complete non-factor in the real world.

deadrody on August 27, 2015 at 7:05 AM

Naturally, places like Western and Central NY, who did NOT vote for Cuomo in large amounts (most of the counties and districts around here are redder than the red stripes on Old Glory) are going to be the ones that suffer job loss and power shortages in order to feed the Dem-dominated beast that is NYC.

wearyman on August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM

I’m not sure you need to worry too much about central NY, at least. There are a solid 2,000 MW of nuke power coming onto the grid IN central NY. And, again, let’s not get too hung up on the jobs involved here. Certainly it sucks for the people whose jobs will be eliminated, but at a fossil plant, that number is quite low.

deadrody on August 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

MikeHu on August 26, 2015 at 4:12 PM

A fellow Dunkirker? Who are you from home?

KGB on August 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

I’m not sure you need to worry too much about central NY, at least. There are a solid 2,000 MW of nuke power coming onto the grid IN central NY. And, again, let’s not get too hung up on the jobs involved here. Certainly it sucks for the people whose jobs will be eliminated, but at a fossil plant, that number is quite low.

deadrody on August 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

You’re being far too callous about the effect this is going to have on an entire community. I don’t think you grasp the ripple effect this is going to have on the economy of Dunkirk. After seeing the steel industry dry up in the 80s, the power plant remained one of the few constants in the town. Its tax outlay, for better or worse, underwrote a good portion of the city and school district’s budgets. One Buffalo newscast estimated that the loss of NRG could result in 60 positions being trimmed from the school district. And down the line it goes. We’re not talking about a reasonably healthy economy that can pick up the slack in other areas. Liberals have systematically destroyed upstate for the past several decades and this amounts to the heartbeat of the local economy suffering an MI. I hope the doctors can perform a miracle, but given the fact that they’re all big D democrats, I think we can safely assume we’re in for some malpractice.

KGB on August 27, 2015 at 7:17 AM

We aren’t responsible for this idiocy. We didn’t vote for Obama or Cuomo.

magicbeans on August 26, 2015 at 5:04 PM

Then you have an alternative: switch boxes. Either change which ballot box you use (by moving) or switch to the cartridge box. It’s the same problem for all of us, since the blues rule so much now through DC.

GWB on August 27, 2015 at 11:21 AM