Updated September 28, 2015
In 2013, NRG participated in a competitive process with local utility National Grid, ordered by the NY Public Service Commission (NY PSC), to determine whether transmission or generation would be the best solution to an identified electrical system reliability need in Western New York. In December of 2013, the PSC selected the NRG Dunkirk natural gas repowering project as the best solution to the need. In June of 2014 after an extensive analysis, the PSC approved the terms of a contract between NRG and National Grid for the project.
As we continue to enhance our generating stations, NRG and our Dunkirk employees have committed considerable time and resources to advance this natural gas project at the Dunkirk plant. However, as NRG was moving the project forward, in February 2015 Entergy Corporation (Entergy) sued the PSC in Federal Court in New York, alleging that its approval of the Dunkirk contract was improper. Currently, we expect that the Entergy lawsuit will go to trial and litigation could take several years to resolve. Unfortunately, the Entergy lawsuit has created too much uncertainty to advance the Dunkirk project at this time and the project remains on hold.
However, there are several, ongoing regulatory processes in New York evaluating the need for power generation and transmission in Western New York and their associated benefits. While these are not within NRG’s control, they may ultimately present opportunities for existing generation in New York, including Dunkirk. Although we cannot predict the outcome of these processes, we will follow these closely.
Over the past 16 years, we have taken many proactive steps and investments to make the Dunkirk facility more competitive, including the conversion of the facility to Powder River Basin coal in the early 2000s to the almost $300 million investment in emission controls in 2008, and now the repowering project. The plant has been operating under reliability support services agreements since 2012, providing power to the regional grid safely and dependably, to the credit of the 66 dedicated men and women at the station.
NRG’s pursuit of the Dunkirk project remains steadfast, we’re actively defending against the Entergy lawsuit, and we’re seeking solutions to make the project a success.
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For a revised fact sheet on the Dunkirk repowering project, click here.