The New York Public Service Commission has evaluated potential reliability issues when Indian Point closes. They have created a plan to ensure that supply and reliability issues are addressed through the Indian Point Replacement Contingency Plan which was put in place in 2012. Much of the plan has already being implemented by Con Ed and the New York Power Authority. A shortfall is not anticipated when the reactors close in 2020 and 2021. It is important to understand it is not necessary to replace the 2,000 MW generated at Indian Point with new generation. Replacement has been implemented by conservation, efficiency and demand response. As stated publicly by Entergy executives, Indian Point is closing because their business model did not work in the unregulated New York market and they could not make an adequate profit for their shareholders. They are closing out Entergy Northeast and retreating to regulated Southern markets where utilities have more control of the market and offer a guaranteed profit for their shareholders. This is perhaps the clearest indication that additional generation is not needed for the Indian Point site. Here are three of the new replacement sources already in place. Others have followed.
1) The 320 MW power line from NJ to NYC is now operational.
2) 600 MW in transmission upgrades are in process under the Indian Point Replacement Contingency Plan.
3) There are 180 MW of NYC efficiency, demand response, and storage under the plan. Con Ed says efficiency programs are proving so much more successful than expected that it is able to forego other planned transmission system upgrades.
The PSC determined, “This suite of projects accepted today represents the least-cost and least-risky portfolio for the IPEC reliability contingency plan.” There is no need to worry. Here is a citation to a summary of the Indian Point Replacement Contingency Plan:
Indian Point’s closure will be phased in, one reactor at a time, with a year between closing Unit 2 and Unit 3 – unless a reactor shuts down due to equipment failure or disaster. That means more efficiency, storage, renewables, and demand response will be in place by the time Indian Point fully closes, all of which will push energy costs down.
Here is the Energy Planning Board study…
In 2012, the NYS Energy Planning Board was tasked with evaluating the closure of Indian Point. It identified a potential 1,000 MW issue in mid-2016 issue, and determined that the state has more than enough ways to manage the grid to prevent reliability problems. Obviously their plan worked as no shortage has emerged. This makes it plain that there are mechanisms in place that would adequately replace any deficiency related to the closure of the IP units should a problem arise. The plan has gone forward and New York now a surplus of power and maintains a robust planning and regulatory processes. Our free market in electricity will automatically implement either market-based options or regulatory backstop solutions in the event a deficiency is identified. In addition, many of the generation and transmission projects that were identified in 2012 are now operational and providing adequate replacement power.
A more complete list of what has come on line since 2012
Since the 2012 projections and the Energy Highway Blueprint recommendations, over 5,000 megawatts of electricity have been added to the system through transmission upgrades, efficiency and demand reduction from distributed generation. This provides over twice the electricity needed to replace the 2,000 megawatts generated at Indian Point. Some of this is unfortunately gas generation, as the list below indicates. The carbon footprint for these plants has been anticipated and is already figured into the NYS Clean Energy Plan.
- Danskammer (Newburgh) power plant 550 MW
- Bowline (Haverstraw) power plant 1,100 MW
- Hudson Transmission Project (NJ to NYC) cable 660 MW
- PSE&G (NJ to Ramapo) power line 380 MW
- Con Ed (Bergen County interconnection) power line 315 MW
- TOTS (Westchester & Rockland Counties) power lines 600 MW
- NYSERDA (Efficiency Projects) 200 MW
- AC Hudson Valley Transmission Upgrades 1,000+ MW
- New York Power Authority St. Lawrence Seaway 440 MW
TOTAL 5,245 MW
More projects have come on line in 2017 and demand has not been as high as anticipated. We have a surplus of electricity to replace Indian Point, with more megawatts to come. So, words to the wise — check your “facts” when they come from a source that stands to profit by them. Do the math and breathe easy. We have a surplus of electricity. Indian Point has already been replaced.
By Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition