repowering upstate

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The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is coming under fire yet again with claims that the body’s proceedings lack transparency.

A group of elected officials, ratepayers, and environmental groups announced Thursday that they’re filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the PSC in an attempt to gain access to documents relating to the future of two power plants in upstate New York.

Kate O'Connell

Many of New York’s power stations are reaching the end of their operating lives, with coal-fired plants becoming less viable from both a business and environmental standpoint.

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $150 million deal that will see the coal-fired power plant in Dunkirk converted to burn natural gas.

Kate O'Connell

The state Public Service Commission (PSC) has come under scrutiny in recent weeks with claims that there’s a lack of transparency in its proceedings.

The commission’s handling of plans for the future of two coal-fired power plants in upstate New York has been particularly criticized.

Opposing solutions for the Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants are being considered. The options are to either upgrade transmission lines or repower the facilities with natural gas.

A coalition of environmental groups and local officials is seeking to block the Cayuga power plant near Ithaca from moving ahead with plans to transfer from burning coal to natural gas.

The plant’s owners, Cayuga Operating Company, submitted a plan earlier this year with four options for how to make the transition. The price tags for those options ranged from $60 to $370 million.

If the state chooses to close the plant down instead, the lost power would be replaced with increased transmission.