NRG project: State seems in the dark

Despite the efforts of outreach by our local officials, you really have to wonder how “in touch” Albany is with the NRG Energy Inc. proposal to convert the plant from coal to natural gas.

We know state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and city Mayor Anthony J. Dolce back the project, but is the communication on the significance of the plant and its $500 million project getting through? We ask that because during his stop in Dunkirk, Sam Hoyt, regional president of the Empire State Development Corp., asked this question about the proposal, which would be funded privately by NRG: what the “public ask is?”

Todd Tranum, president and chief executive officer of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, responded simply: “To let us build the facility. To let us convert it and to make sure we have the infrastructure to get that power to where the demand is downstate. It sort of ties into the super energy highway aspect.”

Since the project became public in July, we would hope Albany would already be aware of this. The question by Hoyt, however, does make us wonder.