Indian Point Replacement Power Plan Gets Short-Circuited

BUCHANAN, NY - The tentative plan to replace the power generation lost by the prospective closure of Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center was dealt a possibly fatal blow today as the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied an air permit renewal for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV). State Senator Terrence Murphy is calling for an immediate meeting of the State's Indian Point Task Force to deal with the aftermath of the decision. 

"We just lost close to half of what we were told would replace Indian Point, which will be a disaster for energy consumers," Senator Murphy said. "No amount of energy efficiency or reductions in demand can makeup this gap. While I applaud and agree with DEC's denial of CPV, which was questionable to begin with not only for its ties to corruption, but from the standpoint of replacing clean nuclear energy with dirty fossil fuels, the Governor's promises were just short-circuited and the Hudson Valley is once again left holding the bag."

The original plan for replacing Indian Point released by the New York Independent Systems Operator (NYIS) predicted that in order to fill current power requirements, three projects would have to be completed on time, including the 680 MW natural gas-fueled CPV Energy Center in Wawayanda, NY, the 1,100 MW Cricket Valley Energy Center, a natural gas-fueled power plant in Dover, NY slated to come online by 2020, and an additional 120 MW of capacity from Bayonne, NJ. The NYISO further predicted additional 600 megawatts of demand by the year 2027.

CPV was at the center of the bribery and fraud trial of Joseph Percoco, the campaign manager and former top aide to Governor Cuomo. CPV had paid Percoco's wife for a low-show job in exchange for favorable treatment by Percoco on behalf of the Governor.

State DEC formally denied CPV's request for a license renewal of their state air facility permit for natural gas and diesel. "We took one step forward toward meeting our renewable energy goal and protecting the Hudson Valley from air pollution by CPV, but we also took two giant steps back from meeting the demand that will be left in the wake of Indian Point's closure," Murphy added.

The Journal News reported that if the projects are not completed by the time Indian Point Energy Center is scheduled to close in 2021, demand in the Lower Hudson Valley would soon exceed the supply of electricity. The Lower Hudson Valley would require an additional 100 megawatts in 2021, as soon as Indian Point closes, and by 2023, the region would require an additional 200 megawatts. 

As of today, there have been no alternative's put forward by the Governor's office to make up for the denial of the air quality permit for CPV.  Senator Murphy's office today sent a formal request to immediately convene the task force to discuss the consequences of this decision.