New York OKs transmission upgrades to replace Indian Point Nuclear Plant

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 19:  Aerial view of the Indian Point nuclear power plant along the banks of the Hudson River in Westchester County.  (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – FEBRUARY 19: Aerial view of the Indian Point nuclear power plant along the banks of the Hudson River in Westchester County. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

New York utility regulators approved the construction of three power transmission lines needed to keep the state’s electric system reliable in case the giant Indian Point nuclear power plant shuts at the end of 2015.

There is no certainty that Indian Point will close.

Entergy Corp, the plant’s owner, wants to keep Indian Point’s reactors running and has filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew the plant’s operating licenses for another 20 years.

The two reactors at the 2,037-megawatt plant provide about a quarter of the power used in New York City. The reactors’ operating licenses expire in 2013 and 2015.

The three transmission lines are part of a proposal filed by New York power provider Consolidated Edison Inc and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) at the request of the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). The NYPA is a state-owned generation company.

Because of the importance of Indian Point to the state’s power grid, the PSC approved the start of work on the three power lines but only authorized the electric companies to spend up to $10 million at this time.

In response to the PSC’s decision, Entergy said it believes the best reliability contingency plan would be for New York to support the continued operation of Indian Point and not spread the cost of transmission upgrades to ratepayers across the state.

But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants Indian Point to shut when its licenses expire, in part, because it is located just 40 miles north of Manhattan.

Concerns about nuclear safety, especially in densely populated metropolitan areas, have risen since the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.

The NRC, which regulates the country’s nuclear power plants, has said repeatedly that Indian Point is safe.

In November 2012, the PSC asked Con Edison and the NYPA to develop contingency plans in case Indian Point were to shut at the end of 2015.

Con Edison and NYPA filed a three-part proposal in February.

The first part, which the PSC approved in March, was for NYPA to seek proposals for about 1,350 MW of generation or transmission that could be online by June 2016.

NYPA issued a request for proposals in March with bids due by May 20. U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc and others have said they would offer proposals.

The second and third parts of the Con Edison/NYPA proposal were for about 100 MW of energy efficiency and the three transmission lines, which the PSC approved on Thursday.

WHO PAYS?

The PSC staff said they would conduct cost and recovery studies to determine what the various proposals will cost, who will benefit and who should pay, and produce a recommendation to the PSC commissioners over the summer.

That will allow the commissioners to make a final decision in September on which transmission and generation proposals the state should allow to go forward.

The proposals allow the state to stop the projects if they are deemed unnecessary if, for example, the NRC renews the Indian Point operating licenses.

In its proposal, Con Edison and NYPA said the three transmission lines would cost about $511 million and could enter service by the summer of 2016.

The PSC staff said it was premature to estimate the cost of the lines or say who would pay for their construction.

The three lines are located in the Ramapo area just north of New Jersey, on Staten Island and in upstate New York.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Movies

Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…