DUNKIRK, NY (WIVB) - National Grid has issued a report saying that the figures don't add up to convert the Dunkirk NRG plant from coal to natural gas. This is quite a different story from a report by NRG issued this past March.
The latest study reports that it would cost $506 million for the conversion and it would hike electricity rates anywhere from 3 to 10 percent.
The report instead recommends upgrading the power transmission system which would cost around $70 million.
The NRG study was commissioned through a Boston energy consultant who found that the coal to gas conversion could reduce wholesale electricity prices in Western New York by as much as 5 percent while also reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
David Gaier, Director of NRG Communications had this to say about the current situation: "First, it's important to remember that the ultimate decision regarding the Dunkirk proposal and project will be made by the NY PSC, not National Grid. In fact, National Grid and NRG are competing for the best solution for the reliability issue that National Grid defined. Second, National Grid identified a reliability issue that spanned from 2015 through 2025. NRG's projects were the only responses that actually satisfied National Grid's stated needs during the entire period of reliability need – even National Grid's transmission proposal only addresses reliability concerns through 2021. Third, we believe National Grid is dramatically understating its costs. In National Grid's filing from Friday, it applies a 200% variance factor to its project, although when comparing its costs to NRG, it neglects to add those potential overruns to the comparison. NRG applies no such variation to its bid. Fourth, National Grid assumes, with no factual basis, that the power produced at Dunkirk would be exported. The power produced at Dunkirk is provided to the NY system. We believe that the Dunkirk facility will be the lowest-cost natural gas fueled energy producer in NY state, and that benefit will go to NY consumers."
In March 2012 it was announced that the Dunkirk plant would be mothballed, a situation that would be disastrous for the NRG Dunkirk workforce.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators are trying to determine who dumped a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
A man once featured on the Cattaraugus County Top 10 Most Wanted List has pleaded guilty after being extradited from Indiana.
Lake effect snow warning in effect for southern tier.
Two men have been arrested by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and charged with selling heroin in the Village of Attica.
A woman was arrested Sunday after she allegedly tried to bite her neighbor during an argument over offensive odors.