NRG drops plan to reopen Dunkirk power plant

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 20:23:48-04

The owners of a Dunkirk power plant have officially dropped their plan to repower it using natural gas.

In a statement to 7 Eyewitness News, an NRG spokesperson says part of the reason is due to 'financially uncertainty.'

"NRG has withdrawn its Dunkirk application from the NYISO 2017 Class Year interconnection process. We appreciate the unwavering support of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County, including the efforts of U.S. Representative Tom Reed, Senator Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andy Goodell and others. NRG invested millions of dollars over several years – including voluntarily paying the full tax of $8+ million/year even when it was not required.

The project was put on hold in 2015 because of an Entergy lawsuit filed against the NYPSC challenging the legality of the Dunkirk contract. We moved forward once the lawsuit was dropped, but the delay rendered Dunkirk a “new” project -- requiring the NYISO interconnection process and its associated costs of $15 million. More recently, we were informed that these costs could rise to nearly $114 million – inclusive of NYISO, PJM and National Grid. Additionally, these interconnection upgrades may not be ready until 2024, further delaying the project. This financial uncertainty, along with a significant schedule delay, rendered the project unworkable.

Locals may recall a hot summer night in 2013 when NRG stood shoulder-to-shoulder with 2000 supporters to argue in favor of repowering Dunkirk. We share the community’s disappointment that this project has not come to fruition. "

New York State Senator Catherine Young responded to the closing with disappointment.

“NRG has stuck a dagger in the heart of our community. Our people have consistently rallied on behalf of the company since they mothballed the plant in 2013, standing by them through thick and thin. We have fought long and hard, put in place state incentives, and had a commitment to repower. The eventual loss of tax revenue will be devastating to the city, school district and county."

For Sen. Young's full statement, click here.

NRG says they share the community’s disappointment that the project has not come to fruition.

Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices.  Download below!

Phone or Tablet: Apple, Android
Set-top Device: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Alexa

Personalize your news, get the latest 7 First Alert Forecast, and watch 7 Eyewitness News video wherever, whenever.

Learn more here about what 7 Eyewitness News provides on all these devices.