Proposal is reason for hope

Optimism is building for the NRG Energy Inc. plant in Dunkirk.

After new language included in the state budget for repowering plants in New York state was announced at the beginning of the week, the company announced a study that shows a natural-gas facility brings significant benefits to the city and region.

According to the analysis, the repowered plant will reduce the wholesale cost of electricity in the state, which can be passed along to ratepayers by their utilities. Specifically, New York wholesale energy prices would be decreased by an average of $1.11 per megawatt hour with the plant repowered rather than retired, and in the Dunkirk vicinity, prices would drop by $2.35 per megawatt hour.

Obviously, officials are pleased. “This analysis is fantastic news for the people of New York state,” said state Sen. Catharine Young. “Our state’s economy as a whole and ratepayers clearly will benefit from repowering Dunkirk, and this analysis clearly shows many advantages over the long term. Jobs, lower power prices, grid reliability, and lower emissions – they’re all here.”

There is plenty more work to be done before this repowering plan becomes reality, but our region needs some positive pieces of news for revitalization.

This is a start.