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New York News

Report highlights NY's power needs, Indian Point's future

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-965466.mp3

New Paltz, NY – Natural gas, solar, and wind are just some of the options on the table, when talking about New York's future energy needs. WAMC's Greg Fry takes a look at a new report, which highlights the biggest needs to ensure that New York's power stays on...

The report from the New York Independent System Operator takes a look at the past, present, and future power needs in the state. Since 2000, more than 86-hundred megawatts of new power generation has been produced by private entities and public authorities. 80-percent of that has come in New York City, on Long Island, and in the Hudson Valley - the three areas where demand is greatest.

The overall picture looks good for New York. The report indicates that immediate power needs are not a concern, however, caution comes when looking to the future, particularly, the upcoming decision on the future of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

John Durso, Junior is the Executive Director of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. He points out that the report highlights the harms that could be done by closing the plant, when its current operating licenses expire in 2013 and 2015.

In fact, the report says specifically that the retirement of both nuclear units at Indian Point when their current licenses expire would result in violations of reliability standards in 2016, leading to loss of power supply and transmission voltage support for the greater New York City area.

The topic of what to do without Indian Point was a main one at a summit Monday sponsored by the environmental organization Clearwater. The two-part summit included a discussion of the risks over nuclear energy, and the need to transition to a green energy economy. Melissa Everett moderated the latter portion of the summit. She's the Executive Director of Sustainable Hudson Valley. Everett says the situation can be improved by a number of new energy measures, but points mostly toward conserving energy. While the technology may be in place, much of the discussion at Monday's summit centered on the need to prepare, and to do so quickly.

The report by the New York Independent System Operator makes mention of the fact that the time frame to construct major energy projects can often range from five to ten years. While the debate rages on among those on both sides of the Indian Point re-licensing, Durso says lawmakers in Albany can take other action to ensure New York's power supply is secure.

NYISO Report