Repowering: NRG’s proposal more vital

On a day after our region received terrible news regarding the Lake Shore Health Care Center’s closing, our eyes shift to Albany regarding the Public Service Commission hearing this morning.

At stake could be the future of the Dunkirk NRG facility, which is hoping to convert the coal-burning facility into a natural-gas electricity provider in a $500 million project. Though the plant’s future is not on the agenda, it could still be discussed.

In September, the commission gave its approval to the Cayuga plant in Tompkins County to move ahead with its repowering, provided it came to an agreement with New York State Electric and Gas. That approval was made after a public hearing in the summer brought out 800 residents to voice their views on the plant. While views on both sides were heard, the support was not tremendous for the repowering of that plant.

In Fredonia, however, more than 2,000 showed up at the Williams Center on the campus, support was overwhelming for the city facility.

And since that sweltering July evening, new information regarding the plant has emerged. Some of that information includes how the grid was stressed for electricity that evening – and week – due to the high temperatures of that week.

That information is essential in moving forward.

Our region took another blow in regard to job losses on Wednesday. The $500 million NRG project, however, would add a needed positive jolt for this economy.