In a report issued late last week, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) warns that closure of the R.E. Ginna and the James A. FizPatrick nuclear power plants, representing 614 MW and 882 MW, respectively, would create an energy deficit for the state when coupled with closure of two coal-fired and two gas turbine plants.
NYISO, in a Feb. 11 report, says that the power deficiency would start in 2019 and that it would turn to a “gap solution” to address the shortage.
In a three-page summation, NYISO said there would be “a statewide deficiency in year 2019 (that) cannot be timely addressed within the biennial reliability planning process.”
NYISO expects a 325 MW statewide deficiency, but says it would take more than 325 MW of capacity to erase the deficit, although factors change depending on the location of a new power source.
In November, Entergy said it would close the FitzPatrick plant on the southeast shores of Lake Ontario in 2017, citing economic headwinds. The state reacted strongly with Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowing to work towards reverse that decision. Meanwhile, the R.E. Ginna plant is on life support with finances arranged through a temporary pricing agreement with Rochester Gas and Electric that is set to end in March 2017.
The agreement was enacted to give RG&E enough time to upgrade infrastructure to allow for importing more electricity into the area.
Gov. Cuomo, while working to keep the FitzPatrick plant operable, has maintained a long-held position that the Indian Point nuclear power plant, 40 miles north of New York City, should close, owing health and safety risks due to its proximity to a large metropolitan area.
NYISO points out that other power generation units are expected to close. Under the heading “Assumptions,” NYISO says that “using the most recent reliability planning process base case … on Jan. 1, 2016, NYISO received notice from NRG Energy of its intent to mothball Astoria GTs 8, 10 and 11. Also on Jan. 1, NRG Energy Astoria Gts 5,7, 12 and 13 and Niagara Generation LLC Niagara Bio-Gen transitioned form Forced Outage into ICAP Ineligible Forced Outages.”
Power reported that the outage expectations “includes several coal-fired units at Dunkirck and Huntley, as well as gas turbines at Astoria and Raenswood. It also includes the Ginna reactor, even though Exelon hasn't formally announced it will shutter the plant in Ontario, N.Y.”
Entergy shut down the Vermont Yankee power plant in December 2014 and has also said it wants to shut the Pilgrim Plant in Massachusetts – all due to a negative market environment.
“The NYISO performs bulk electric system reliability impact analyses after receiving an official retirement notice for any bulk electric system generation asset and does not speculate on the future status of particular generation units, such as Indian Point, that have not provided notice of their intent to retire or mothball their facilities,” Power quoted NYISO spokesman David Flanagan as saying.
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