RG&E Submits 42-Month R.E. Ginna Reprieve To PSC

Rochester Gas & Electric has submitted a reliability support services agreement to the New York Public Services Commission that proposes a three and a half year reprieve for Exelon Corporation's financially struggling R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Station in Ontario, New York.

R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power PlantThe agreement, which was ordered by the commission, would keep the plant running from April 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2018, although RG&E may “in its sole discretion, terminate the contract prior to the expiration of the Initial Term,” a notice submitted to the commission says.

To do this, RG&E must provide 12 months notice and make a “settlement payment.”

The agreement also calls for a possible “necessary extension,” of the agreement “should the continued operation of the Ginna Facility be required for reliability purposes after the expiration of the initial term and any such extension shall be for a period of 18 months.”

The three and a half year RSSA provides for monthly payments to Ginna of about $17.5 million. The 580 MW plant, which began operations in September 1969, had experienced “cumulative losses … of nearly $100 million,” the document says.

The plant has an federal operating license that does not expire until September 2029, which underscores the financial straits the industry faces with nuclear power plants increasingly unable to compete in an era of stagnant demand and plummeting costs for fossil fuels.

RG&E will recoup a portion of the monthly payment through an RSS Surcharge that would allow the utility company “to recover costs incurred pursuant to the RSSA including monthly fixed payment costs, outside service and consultancy costs, applicable capital expenditures” and other third-party costs elated to local reliability needs.

Based on consumption of 600 kWh per month, RG&E said customers would be faced with a 4.2 percent rate increase or $3.89 per month in their electric bills.

Exelon said the agreement would “ensure grid reliability in the greater Rochester area while RG&E completes a host of necessary transmission and distribution upgrades.”

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