NRG deal: Area’s voice heard in Albany

When it came to converting the NRG Energy Inc. plant in Dunkirk, it came down to one thing: the power of the people.

Elected officials, including state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Dunkirk city Mayor Anthony J. Dolce and plenty of others, did a lot of work behind the scenes and publicly. But it never would have happened without the work by area residents as well.

Area residents turned out in record number at the Public Service Commission hearing on July 15. Area residents sent in petitions and notices to the governor. Area residents also made signs and proudly displayed them to “Repower Dunkirk.”

On Sunday, those wishes became official. State Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement of the NRG repowering just before 11:30 a.m. “I want to applaud every person in this room … who cared enough to get up and get out and make their voice heard,” Cuomo said, noting democracy works when the effort is made.

The 10-year $150 million deal announced at the Clarion brings good economic news to a region that desperately needed it.

Not only does the repowering of the plant mean a happy holiday season for city and county residents, it also means the start of a very happy 2014.