NRG not on PSC agenda

Not this month.

According to the published agenda for its Thursday meeting, the state’s Public Service Commission will not be considering the NRG repowering case.

The Regular Agenda consists of items that, by their nature, appear to be best resolved through discussion of matters covered by written reviews and analyses, also available to the Commissioners in advance of the meeting.

Since the PSC’s last meeting Oct. 17, there have been almost 20 more filed documents submitted to the PSC, most of which were at the request of the PSC.

Case 12-E-0577 – Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Examine Repowering Alternatives to Utility Transmission Reinforcements is the official title of the NRG and Cayuga Operating Company LLC repowering questions. The Nov. 7 filing was signed by PSC secretary Kathleen H. Burgess.

“This is to advise that I have granted an additional two-week extension of time until Nov. 21, 2013 to Cayuga Operating Company, LLC and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation to file a revised repowering proposal for the Cayuga generating station,” she wrote those companies.

The NRG repowering was the subject of two Nov. 7 filings concerning a technical conference held Oct. 31 that had NRG, National Grid and New York Independent System Operators representatives present more information to the PSC.

Although the repowering is not on the agenda, that won’t stop opponents of the plan to repower from attending the meeting.

A release sent out Tuesday by Kathleen Sutcliffe, campaign manager for the Earthjustice Northeast Office located in New York City, states that a group of elected officials and concerned ratepayers will be asking the governor and the PSC if “New York State will be a leader on energy issues or revert to short-sighted, reactive policies?”

“At issue is a controversial, precedent setting decision: whether to repower the uneconomic coal-burning Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants with natural gas – a plan that would hike electric costs to people and businesses across a 20-county region in western and central New York, or take the plants offline and instead upgrade the transmission lines – a cleaner and far less expensive option,” the release claims.

That may be right unless state Sen. Catharine Young is correct when she stated in October that closing NRG and not doing the repowering plan would result in more reliance on electricity from PJM coal-powered plants in Pennsylvania.

“Forty-one percent of PJM’s power comes from dirty coal and they don’t have the same standards in Pennsylvania that New York has as far as clean air,” Young said.

Included in the listed attendees is Tompkins County legislator Carol Chock, Town of Caroline councilmember Irene Weiser and Christopher Amato, an attorney with Earthjustice. According to the Earthjustice release, the participants will be wearing matching, brightly colored t-shirts at the PSC meeting and will hand-deliver a letter to the governor’s office following the meeting.

The meeting will be broadcast on the Internet at

While the repowering is not listed on the agenda, there are some items on the PSC’s consent agenda that local residents may be interested in.

According to the PSC, the consent agenda consists of items that because of their nature, can be decided by the Commission on the basis of written reviews and analyses previously made available to the Commission and do not require discussion. Any item on the Consent Agenda can be transferred to the Regular Agenda if discussion is required.

Under the category of general items, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, doing business as National Grid, has two listed dealing with charges for electric and gas service. Under Case 12-E-0201, the PSC will consider a confirming order as to the rates, charges, rules and regulations for electric service while Case 12-G-0202 will consider the same things for Grid’s gas service. Case 13-M-0463 will deal with rules and regulations of the PSC in 16 NYCRR regarding prescribing interest rates applicable to customer deposits.

The communications category contains an items involving the Dunkirk and Fredonia Telephone Company. Case 07-C-0349 concerns amendments to PSC No. 5-Telephone, eff. 11/1/13, to increase the basic residential local service rates. There were also items concerning Verizon, including dealing with charge calculations and a service quality report provided by local exchange companies for the third quarter.

After Thursday’s meeting the next regularly scheduled meeting of the PSC will be Dec. 19 at 10:30 a.m. in Albany.

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