State Energy Board Lays Out Roadmap for Shuttering Indian Point

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A new report on the state’s energy transmission system has something of a rough roadmap for replacing the Indian Point Energy Center tucked deep inside.

The state Energy Planning Board unanimously approved a final draft of the report on Thursday. The board, which includes representatives from various state agencies and appointments from the governor and Legislature, is charged with coming up with a comprehensive energy plan by March.

On page 85 of the 111-page analysis of the transmission system, the report expresses confidence in the state’s ability to replace the 2,000-megawatt capacity of Indian Point’s two nuclear reactors.

“The State is actively involved in the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) relicensing proceedings and has mechanisms in place to address reliability impacts and implement solutions in the event the units do not receive their operating license renewals,” the report reads.

The two NRC licenses for the Buchanan, Westchester County, facility are due to expire in 2013 and 2015, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo favor closing the nuclear plant.

But it supplies a significant amount of power in New York City and Westchester County, and the operator of the state’s Independent Systems Operator has warned that a shutdown could lead to a “degrading” of the power grid. (The ISO report showed “Indian Point is a key ingredient for electrical reliability in New York state,” a spokesman for plant-operator Entergy said at the time.)

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Kingston Democrat who chairs the Assembly Energy Committee, touted the planning board report’s take on Indian Point.

“The State has the plans and procedures in place to adapt to the unlikely scenario of an immediate shutdown of Indian Point in 2015,” Cahill said in a statement. “We are prepared for a future without Indian Point and ready to take action on cost effective investments in our system to ensure any issues related to the inevitable closure of the plant are addressed.”

The Energy Planning Board report points to projects in the state Independent Systems Operator’s queue that could bring up to 2,000 megawatts of power by 2015, as well as transmission lines that could bring 3,000.

It also points to Cuomo’s Energy Highway project, which attracted 85 proposals with 11,000 megawatts that could be applied to “Southeastern New York.”

Here’s the planning board report. The Indian Point references begin on page 85:

Final Draft Reliability Study of New York State for EPB 8-24-2012

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8 Comments

  1. Does it come as a surprise that the Blackstone Group is proposing a multi-billion dollar underground/underwater powerlinedirectly from Canada to NYC? Yes, New York is open for business.

  2. “Representatives from various State Agencies and appointments” from a Democratic Governor will jointly come up with a plan that increases costs by 100% and that tells us to turn off our light bulbs when not absolutely necessary.

  3. Willima Wilgus on

    I can’t help wondering if ‘Electric Eel’ was paid to post his comment. It’s rather obvious he of she is not a Democrat.

  4. Paid? Hmm, think I can get paid for stating the obvious? To whom do I send the invoice? Furthermore, Willima Wilgus is not a real name. – Eel :-)

  5. Mercenary Bloggers are Here Today on

    No doubt paid right wing bloggers inhabit the comment boards

    WalMart has had them for years and the PACs are using them also

    Piece meal work and they spew with gusto

  6. Dr. Matthew Cordaro on

    The New York Energy Planning Board’s Transmission and Distribution Reliability study provides little, if any, clarity let alone a plan for replacing Indian Point. It does not even provide a “rough roadmap” – the roads haven’t even been designed or approved, let alone built.

    Echoing what Indian Point’s opponents have long said in the vaguest of terms, the study claims that there are replacement options available for Indian Point, largely in the form of natural gas-generated electricity. But it offers no significant supporting evidence of how such development will occur, let alone who will step up and “show us the money.”

    To call for Indian Point to be replaced under these circumstances is irresponsible. Earlier this week, the Journal News reported that the New York Independent System Operator, the non-profit operator of the state’s electricity grid, is very concerned that closing Indian Point could cause blackouts. It outlines these concerns in its seminal two-year reliability report, and raised similar concerns in 2010.

    Indian Point’s 2,069 megawatts, which account for 30 percent of the power used in the City and surrounding region, is vital for grid reliability, electric rate stability, and economic security.

    In addition to ignoring the New York Independent System Operator, the Energy Planning Board all but omits discussing the important 2011 findings by the renowned energy consulting firm, Charles River Associates. Charles River determined that the loss of Indian Point would result in serious electric reliability issues, degrade the bulk power system, and a 10 percent increase in wholesale electricity prices throughout the state, costing New Yorkers up to $12 billion. It also found New York’s environment would be degraded, with a 15 percent increase in carbon emissions along with a 7-8 percent increase in toxic nitrous oxide emissions expected.

    The Energy Planning Board study also omits mentioning that a significant amount of any replacement generation would have to be built in or around Westchester County in order to provide a comparable level of voltage support to New York’s electric system.

    The reality is that in order to ensure electric reliability and prevent future black outs, New York must invest in upgrades to its transmission and generation infrastructure and also maintain and expand its sources of clean, safe, competitively-priced electricity like Indian Point.

    We also have to get rid of all too prevalent zero-sum thinking. To literally fuel economic recovery and economic growth, New York will benefit by having more electricity in the years ahead, rather than staying in place with what is available now.

  7. You know waaaaay too much that is all one-way to be a truly unbiased and financially disinterested party.