Constellation Says Ginna Reactor Will Close if Power Contract Not Renewed

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group has warned New York state that grid reliability in the Rochester area is threatened by the lack of a pricing agreement between the R.E. Ginna nuclear plant and its largest customer, Rochester Gas & Electric.

Ginna nuclear plant. Souce: NRCA pricing agreement with RG&E expired on June 30, 2014. The 45-year-old, 577-megawatt plant is now “a fully merchant generator in the wholesale market,” says a petition filed with the New York State Public Service Commission.

The current pricing structure has caused Ginna's management to contemplate closing the plant, which has notched well over $100 million in losses over the past three calendar years, Constellation said in the petition.

A joint reliability study conducted by Constellation, RG&E and the New York Independent System Operator found continued operations were needed to ensure grid reliability through Oct. 1, 2018.

Filing a petition accomplished three things, Constellation said. It served notice that “continued operation is necessary to assure electric service reliability.” It gave New York “sufficient notice” of the problem.

In addition, the petition requested the PSC direct the companies to negotiate a Reliability Support Services Agreement by Dec. 1, 2014. Doing so would "forestall" the plant's retirement, Constellation said.

In a report filed by WHAM 13, ABC News, RG&E spokesman Daniel Hucko said, “If Ginna goes down there are other power producers that replace that energy.”

He also said, “if the commission requires us to negotiate, we will do that with the best interest of the customers at the forefront.”

About 700 steady jobs at the Ontario, N.Y., facility could evaporate if the plant closes. In addition, 800 – 1,000 workers are hired during refueling outages, Constellation said.

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